It’s easy to get here by bus: bus 215 from Walthamstow Central bus station oes via Hoe Street, The Bell, Billet Roundabout, Chingford Mount. Get off on Sewardstone Road, at the Hawkwood Crescent stop. Cross this main road and walk up Hawkwood Crescent – the Plant Nursery is at the very end. About 5 minutes walk from the bus stop.
Join us on Sunday 29 July for an amazing day of arts and ecology at our Open Day. We are delighted to be working with Mbilla Arts and to welcome Seneke Sillah and Nadia Al Fagih Hassan for a West African drumming circle, Moussa Dembele on Kora (West African harp), Usifu Jalloh with West African storytelling, as well as puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew. We are also very pleased to welcome permaculturist and forest garden specialist, Tomas Remiarz. See more about them all below.
Timetable for all the activities:
9.45-1 Seasonal Blitz: weekend volunteering opportunity, take part in seasonal tasks in the garden.
11-12.30 Kids Kitchen: children cook up their own seasonal feast .. and eat it together! Places are limited and there is a small fee to cover costs – book online here, select bookings, then Organiclea. Please arrive 10.45
12-3.30 Dr Bike: free bike maintenance checks and advice. Mechanics to fix problems with your bike or advise you on what needs fixing so you can take it to a bike shop with confidence.
12-4 Coffee, cake and delicious locally grown lunch, bar with Hawkwood-made wine, and our farm stall.
1-3 Hear and share the inspirations of Tomas Remiarz, a practical forest gardener, author and permaculture design tutor. Drop in opportunity, with 30 minute slots which will include a guided id walk. Tomas is author of Forest Gardening In Practice: An Illustrated Practical Guide for Homes, Communities & Enterprises. He will be sharing the research journey behind this book that took him to some of the most inspiring garden, projects and natural places – “where nature and people meet halfway, between the canopy of trees and the soil underfoot.” And introducing the book which is the first indepth review of forest gardening with living, best practice examples. It highlights the four core skills of forest gardeners: ecology, horticulture, design, cooperation. Copies will also be for sale on the day.
12-4 Arts Trail – with special guests performing across the site across the afternoon, follow, listen and take part:
1-1.30 Gambian drummer Seneke Sillah will be accompanied by Nadia Al Faghih Hasan on dundun (bass drums) to deliver a fun, interactive and high energy Drumming Circle rooted in the djembe traditions of the Senegambia region of West Africa. Suitable for all ages and abilities, Mbilla Arts’ drumming circles are always an event favourite. Drums provided or bring one along.
1.30-2 Follow the drummers to the Storytelling Circle with Usifu Jalloh – the Cowfoot Prince. Usifu hails originally from Sierra Leone in West Africa. He is an inspirational storyteller and educator, describing himself as ‘an architect for social change and cultural awakening’. Participants will be enchanted and enthralled by his storytelling and can expect song, music and dance to accompany the stories.
2-2.30 Let the drummers lead you again to find the Puppeteer, Ronnie Le Drew. And then follow the drummers again, to:
2.30-2.45 Kora (African harp) with Moussa ‘Koroleko’ Dembele. Moussa is a multi-instrumentalist of African instruments, music teacher and highly skilled master craftsman of African instruments. He was born and raised in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa. For Dembele, music really does run in his blood. He comes from a family of musicians and craftsmen that have been producing traditional musical instruments for generations. Sit and relax under the trees with Moussa while he plays this beautiful 21 stringed instrument which is traditionally associated with royalty or religious practices dating back to the Empire of Mali.
2.45 The Kora music will lead us all to the Finale – our master musicians will come together for a sharing with dancing puppets.
Bus, rail and river-cycle routes are here. Parking is available at the site but space is limited so please come by other means if possible.