BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 10 June '16

Here are 10 ways to connect with Nature in Bristol this weekend

The UK’s biggest free celebration of the natural world kicks off on the weekend of 11-12 June in Bristol.

For the first time in its 14-year history, the festival will take to the water with two weeks of activities all along the River Avon between Bristol and Bath, which will reach their crescendo in Bath on June 25.

Get stuck in!

1. Take part in the first ever Bristol Avon WaterBlitz and join the race to collect 500 water quality samples from across the catchment area. Find out more about taking part here.
11-25 June, Bristol Avon catchment

2. Journey along the River Avon with river-inspired poems from some of Bristol and Bath’s best-loved poets displayed along the river, transporting you into the rhythmic world of life among the reeds.
10-25 June, River Avon

3. Catch exclusive live screenings in the At-Bristol Planetarium and meet the award-winning producers of two landmark David Attenborough productions – Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur in 360° virtual reality and Planet Earth 2.
11-12 June, At-Bristol

4. Discover Bristol Harbourside as you’ve never seen it before! Meet TV wildlife heroes including The One Show’s Mike Dilger, Lindsey Chapman from Springwatch and Naomi Wilkinson from Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature. Follow a river from source to sea through the festival, discovering wild woodlands, urban jungles and wonderful wetlands as you go; watch Brave Bold Drama’s Festival Procession set sail for Bath in a spectacle of colour and sound and explore real pop-up woodlands, wildlife gardens, butterfly houses and giant sandpits.
11-12 June, Bristol Harbourside

5. Explore interactive exhibitions and games at Bristol’s M Shed and visit the new It Doesn’t Stop Here display celebrating Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.
11 June (launch), Bristol

6. Bring a picnic to the Bandstand at Keynsham Memorial Park on 19 June and enjoy a magical performance of Wind in the Willows by Dreamshed Theatre. Then follow Mole, Badger, Ratty and Toad to hands-on workshops and activities around the park, where you can unveil some of the best-kept secrets of the riverbank.
19 June, 1pm-5pm, Keynsham

7. Uncover some of the secrets of the River Avon: Join a canoe or Land Rover safari at WWT Slimbridge, try out a guided or self-guided walk along the river, learn about brilliant bats, drop in to the Water Space Study Open Studio to discover plans for the river at Bath, Saltford & Keynsham, or go behind the scenes at Saltford Sewage Treatment works to find out about waste treatment and their wildlife and conservation work.
11-25 June, River Avon

8. Head to Bath’s Royal Victoria Park on June 25 for the Festival’s grand finale, with workshops from the incredible Forest of Imagination, children’s theatre show Flit, Flap & Fly, performed inside a giant nest, interactive Nature activities from a host of organisations, mouthwatering local food and drink and the chance to explore the park’s hidden places on a guided walk.
25 June, 11am-6pm, Royal Victoria Park, Bath

9, Visit amazing new public artwork Hollow at the University of Bristol Life Sciences building. Created by artist Katie Paterson in collaboration with architects Zeller & Moye using 10,000 tree species from every country in the world, Hollow allows you to step inside a forest of the world’s trees.
Open now, University of Bristol

10. Find out how to take action for Nature in your area.  From creating a bird box or wildlife meadow to learning how to observe and record wildlife, there are loads of ways to connect with Nature on your doorstep. Check out the five action points on the Festival website, do something for Nature during the Festival and share your activity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

All Festival of Nature events are free but some must be pre-booked. Click here for details.