New festival hoping to inspire community togetherness is coming to Suffolk

Roots and Branches Festival will be held in the grounds of Ringsfield hall later this year. Photo: B

Roots and Branches Festival will be held in the grounds of Ringsfield hall later this year. Photo: Bill Darnell. - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

A new festival hoping to inspire grass-roots activism among local communities will be launching in Suffolk later this year.

Roots and Branches Festival is set to take place in the beautiful 14-acre grassland estate at Ringsfield Hall, in Beccles.

The event, which takes place between Friday, June 15 and Sunday, June 17, will feature workshops, music, guest speakers and discussions.

Organisers Simon Paylor and Lou Walker of Ringsfield Hall and Kim and Nick Hoare from nearby Westhall were inspired to start the festival by a shared desire to create a “more deeply rooted community”.

Ms Walker said: “It became clear that we were tapping into a widespread desire for action and projects that connect and bind people together – to help restore that lost sense of community.”


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Mr Paylor added: “Roots and Branches is about learning through experience in a collaborative environment.

“It is about hearing from people who have made a difference within their communities by taking that first step to make something happen.”

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A range of “happenings” designed to develop a sense of community will take place over the course of the weekend.

Expert practitioners will be on hand to guide participants through challenges which can initially appear daunting – such as navigating local politics.

Speakers include Pamela Warhurst, founder of the voluntary gardening initiative ‘Incredible Edible’ and Josiah Meldrum of Holdmedod’s British Pulses and Grains in Halesworth.

The picturesque setting of the event is set to play an integral role in the overall festival experience.

A spokesman said: “The setting will offer an opportunity for delegates to get back to nature for the weekend, with walks, talks, inspiration, conversation and quiet contemplation all on offer.

“And as the night draws in campfires with music, story-tellers and starlight will be a must.”

Organisers are keen to provide an intimate experience and are therefore limiting the number of attendees to 80 people.

Ms Walker said: “We want to ensure the festival is an intimate event so participants have plenty of opportunity to engage with the speakers and develop relationships that will be sustained once everyone has returned home and started putting projects into action.

“I know from experience this is a challenge.”

For more information on the festival visit: www.ringsfield-hall.co.uk/roots-and-branches

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