Talks for 2021

Our talks take place on the 4th Tuesday of the month (unless indicated otherwise below)

Our meetings start at 7.30pm, and will be held by Zoom during early 2021.

Those later in the year will be conducted either by Zoom or in person at Abbots Leigh Village Hall BS8 3QP. This will depend on the situation at the time.

January 26th

BOTANICAL FOLK TALES - by Zoom

Lisa Schneidau is a storyteller and environmentalist living on Dartmoor, and the author of ‘Botanical Myths of Britain and Ireland’. She will explore our relationship with wild plants and the land in Britain, through traditional and modern folk tales.

This event is free to Herb Group members (join here).

Alternatively, you can book tickets to attend this individual event from Eventbrite.

February 23rd

BRITAIN'S TREES - by Zoom

Jo Woolf writes about nature, landscape and history. She will share discoveries she made while researching her book,Britain’s Trees: a Treasury of Traditions, Superstitions, Remedies and Literature’, which led her to look at people's relationships with trees as far back as the last Ice Age. Jo writes a blog called The Hazel Tree and is Writer in Residence at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

This event is free to Herb Group members (join here).

Alternatively, you can book tickets to attend this individual event from Eventbrite.

March 23rd

HERBS TO SAVOUR AND FLAVOUR - by Zoom

Our very own President, the herb expert, author and broadcaster Jekka McVicar, revisits her passion for herbs in cookery.

April 27th

MAKING A TRADITIONAL MEADOW - by Zoom

After a career in the City, Nick Mann moved to Somerset, where he was struck by the continuing collapse of UK biodiversity. He set up Habitat Aid, working with small scale growers and conservation groups around the country, to help address the problem. He also writes a blog on issues surrounding our natural environment. Join Nick as he talks about his passion for meadow-making.

May 25th

STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM - by Zoom

Join medical herbalist Alex Laird in her kitchen, surrounded by foods, herbs, spices and flowers, as she explains how plants contain medicine for us and how these phytonutrients act on specific body functions to support our health and immunity. Alex is the author of 'Root to Stem: a Seasonal Guide to Natural Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Life'. She is the founding director of the charity Living Medicine.

June 22nd

AN EVENING IN THE HERB GARDEN

We mark 25 years of the Herb Group with an evening of herbal joy in the Western Herb Garden at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. Join us for food and refreshments and to dedicate a seat in memory of our founder, Paddy Dadd. 7.00pm start, members only.

July 20th (3rd Tuesday)

BOTANICAL DYES

Ria Burns is a Bristol-based knitwear designer and maker. She uses yarn from a single farm in Somerset, which she dyes using homegrown or foraged plants. She will discuss the many botanical dyes she produces, and how they can be applied to wool to give a spectrum of colours.

September 28th

REWILDING THE BELMONT ESTATE

The Belmont Estate near Wraxall, North Somerset, is embarking on an extensive rewilding project. Estate Manager Gil Martin takes us through some of the changes they are making, which will create a wildlife-rich landscape and provide a home for free-roaming, organic, rare breed livestock. By rewilding, they aim to help mitigate the threats of biodiversity decline and climate change.

October 19th (3rd Tuesday)

WINTER FORAGING

Fred Gillam returns following his very popular talk on seaweeds two years ago, to tell us about foraging in the winter. Fred has over three decades of foraging experience and is the author of 'Poisonous Plants in Great Britain'. He cares passionately about food, foraging and using the bounty of the land to reconnect people with nature.

November 16th (3rd Tuesday)

HERBS FOR STRESS

Medical herbalist Chris Roe of the Hedgeroe Apothecary will discuss the effects of stress on the body, how our temperament can influence our reaction to stress, and how we can use herbs to mitigate its effects.

December 7th (1st Tuesday)

AGM

Our 2021 AGM will be followed by a joyful herb-themed Christmas supper. More details will be confirmed nearer the time.