The Rivers Trust at Hay Festival

The Rivers Trust is partnering with Hay Festival 2023, supporting two fantastic events celebrating what we love about rivers, and what we need to do to save them. Tickets can be purchased via the Hay Festival website.

Patrick Barkham


Tuesday 30 May 2023, 11.30am

Nature writer Roger Deakin helped popularise wild swimming with Waterlog, published in 1999. He was a polymath, adventurer, romantic and rebel who embraced self-sufficiency, teaching and environmentalism, acquiring a 16th-century farmhouse in the 1970s and rebuilding it from the oak beams up. Discover more about Deakin’s inner life with the Guardian’s natural history writer Patrick Barkham, author of this definitive biography. The Swimmer is told primarily in Deakin’s own words, with Barkham drawing on notebooks, diaries, letters, recordings and more to access his work.

Jyoti Banerjee, Simon Evans and Tessa Wardley talk to Nicola Cutcher


Wednesday 31 May 2023, 7pm

Many of Britain’s rivers are in a sorry state, and the fight to reverse that is felt particularly intensely along the Wye, whose complex ecosystems are ravaged by an unholy trinity of pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. Three experts involved in the restoration of rivers discuss who has the power to help rescue our waterways, and how. Jyoti Banerjee is a co-founder of North Star Transition and launched the Wye-Usk Transition Lab to facilitate and enable the transformation of the landscape for the benefit of all living things in the two catchments. Simon Evans is CEO of the Wye and Usk Foundation, and has been working to restore the Wye for over 20 years. Tessa Wardley is director of communications and advocacy at The Rivers Trust. Nicola Cutcher is an investigative journalist and film-maker.

Hay festival site featuring large tent with bunting
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