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 Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland and Woodland Folk Tales 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

Jekka McVicar has been growing herbs at her herb farm near Bristol for over 30 years. She has won multiple RHS Gold Medals at the Chelsea Flower Show for her spectacular herbal displays. Her farm is now home to her amazing herb collection or 'herbetum'. We are proud that she has also been our President for a number of years.

Jekka's love of herbs is linked to her passion for cookery and, in this talk, she will share some of her secrets and tips for creating delicious food flavoured with herbs.

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

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

April 27th

MAKING A TRADITIONAL MEADOW - by Zoom

The vast majority of Britain's wildflower meadows have been lost in the last century, taking a huge toll on the nation's biodiversity. After a career in the City, our speaker Nick Mann moved to Somerset, where he set up Habitat Aid, working with small scale growers and conservation groups around the country, to help address the problem. Join Nick as he tells us about his passion for meadow-making.

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

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

May 25th

STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM - by Zoom

At a time when we have been thinking about immunity more than ever, we welcome Alex Laird, a medical herbalist who treats patients in the only NHS herbal clinic based in a UK hospital. Join Alex in her kitchen, surrounded by herbs and spices, as she explains how plants can 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.

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

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

June 22nd Outing

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. Members have been emailed details of how to reserve their place, which is necessary as numbers need to be limited. They are requested to bring their own picnic and a glass. Drinks will be provided. 7.00pm start.

On July 2nd-4th the Herb Group are pleased to be at Jekka's HerbFest - visit Jekka's website for more details, and see us there!

July 20th (3rd Tuesday)

BOTANICAL DYES - by Zoom

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.

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

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

September 15th (3rd Wednesday) Outing

FORAGING TOUR OF THE BELMONT ESTATE

2pm start, £7.50. For further details, including the link to buy tickets, see Outings

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 - by Zoom

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 appeared in March in ITV's 'For the Love of Britain', mushroom foraging with Gino D'Acampo, and runs The Wild Side of Life, a business aiming to reconnect people with nature and nature conservation through wild food and herbal medicine (his twin passions). Fred and his partner Natascha run the UK & Ireland Medicinal Mushrooms Conference each year and have a small community herbal dispensary in the Wiltshire village where they live.

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.