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NiddFest – Inspiring a Love of Books in the Yorkshire Dales

NiddFest – Inspiring a Love of Books in the Yorkshire Dales

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At this year’s NiddFest (5-7th August 2016) we have two full days of fun activities planned for children, from a riverside party to music, den building, readings, nature games and much more.

Families are at the heart of NiddFest. Our ambition is to inspire a love of books and nature in audiences young and old and we want to do this in the most joyful way possible, making the most of the beautiful landscape of Upper Nidderdale in the Yorkshire Dales – an area of outstanding natural beauty.


That’s why we’re pitching our children’s tent in a meadow by the river in Pateley Bridge for the Saturday of the festival. We’ve invited the classic children’s series, Brambly Hedge – illustrated stories of mice and other small animals who live by the riverbank – and we’ll be recreating Wilfred’s Birthday Party from these stories. Like in the book, there will be a big sharing picnic party, with hedgerow-inspired recipes suggested on our website. There will be prizes for best-decorated cake and best-dressed mouse!

To add to the fun, there’ll be face painting and costume making in the tent, plus music from the brilliant, bonkers ‘Barrow Band’ – who will be coming all the way from Scotland to sing about fruit and veg. After the party, Hattie Garlick (author of Born To Be Wild) will be hosting nature games.


Later in the afternoon the author/illustrator of ‘How to Hide a Lion’, Helen Stephens, will be hosting a ‘Big Draw’ in our main festival venue (2 mins walk from the children’s tent). This will be followed by the prize-giving of the NiddFest poetry prize, with awards handed out to winning children by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The competition is open to Yorkshire children in key stages 1 and 2. Closing date 1 July.

On Sunday we have two half-day sessions for children in the idyllic Fish Pond Wood. In the morning there is a Wild Art course using natural materials to create artworks such as collages, leaf printing and clay boggarts. In the afternoon there will be nature games and den building using natural materials, rounding off with a woodland campfire, hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Both events will be run by experienced forest school leader Annie Berrington and her team from Get Out More.

While these are some of the events most geared towards children, discount children tickets are offered to most NiddFest events. The weekend features a rich programme of talks and outdoor activities hosted by some of the UK’s most celebrated authors in venues across Upper Nidderdale. All can be reached by footpaths or with our shuttle bus service. Please see our website for more details –

– Kit Peel, Festival Director and Founder

Watch out for the Review on Mini Travellers after the event.  We can’t wait to go!

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