Events in Monmouth May 12th

Woodland Assembly & the Shadow Forest at the Shire Hall
11:00 am – 7:00 pm



The trees are coming to town (quite literally), during a ‘tree-ific’ day of forest-focused installations, music, performance, discussions, films and workshops. Kids of all ages will love the umbrella tree and the Shire Hall itself will be transformed into the Shadow Forest, an immersive installation by Anita Westmorland, specially commissioned for the Wye Valley River Festival. Our amazing Automoton will be on display, whilst creative making workshops with Arts Blast will keep youngsters occupied too.Catch a performance of ‘Heart to Hart’ our ensemble show, an arboreal fairy-tale that runs through the Festival like mycelium, a tale of love, loss, lime, whitebeam and larch. We even have a film world premiere!

If you care about woods and trees our Woodland Assembly won’t disappoint, gathering of eminent speakers and experts talking about the hot issues surrounding woods and trees.

Speakers include:

Colin Tudge, the author of The Secret Life of Trees and founder of the College for Real Farming and Food Culture
Professor Lynne Boddy on how trees are all connected underground and how they communicate through mycelium networks.
Harriet and Rob Fraser of The Long View project looking at seven ordinary trees in Cumbria.
Dan Bebber, Senior Lecturer in Biosciences at Exeter University, on the diseases of our native trees including the Larch and the Ash.
Peter Harper looks at the conflicts between what is physically and practically possible to solve climate change and ecological problems and what is often considered politically impossible.
Owain Jones, Professor of Environmental Humanities will rattle the cages of our apathy, provoking us into new ways of looking at environment and ourselves.
Archie Miles, distinguished photographer and writer, is working with The Woodland Trust and AONBs across England to photo Ash trees before Ash Dieback decimates them.


11am                           Shadow Forest, art workshops, films and automaton displays begin
11.15am – 12.15pm    Monmouth Band
12.30pm – 1pm           Talk: Harriet and Rob Fraser – The Long View, Landscape Art
12.30pm – 1pm           Colin Tudge, Peter Harper and Owain Jones on the ‘Stump Soap Box
12.30pm – 1pm           World Premiere ‘Lady Park Wood’ Arborealists’ film with Tim Craven
1pm – 1.40pm             ‘Heart to Hart’ festival theatre show
1pm – 1.45pm             Marsha O’Mahoney: Extraordinary Stories from the Wye
1.45pm – 2.15pm        Expert Talks: Archie Miles, Professor Lynne Boddy, Dan Bebber, Colin Tudge, Peter Harper, Owain Jones
2.15pm – 3.45pm        The Woodland Assembly: theatrical hearings and public debate
3pm – 3.45pm             Marsha O’Mahoney: ‘Extraordinary Stories from the Wye
4pm – 4.30pm             Expert Talks: Archie Miles, Professor Lynne Boddy, Dan Bebber, Colin Tudge, Peter Harper, Owain Jones, Harriet and Rob Fraser
4pm – 4.30pm            ‘Speakers Corner’s on the tree stump soap box
4.30 – 5.15pm             ‘Heart to Hart’ festival theatre show
7pm                             Shadow Forest and Shire Hall close


7.30 – 8.30pm           Poetry and performance in the Nelson Garden

8.30pm                     Gathering at Monnow Bridge for entertainment before the Parade

9 – 9.30pm                Forest Fire Parade – Monnow Bridge to Shire Hall


Dawn to Dusk         Marchant Barron’s poems in the trees at The Kymin
11am – 3pm           (Sunday 13th) Shadow Forest at the Shire Hall
11am – 4pm           Tree-inspired art by The Arborealists at Monmouth Museum   


The Arborealists
Everyone loves a world premiere and this is your chance to attend the film premiere of ‘Lady Park Wood’ by The Arborealists in the Shire Hall. Pop over to Monmouth Museum to feast your eyes on their exhibition of tree-inspired art between 11am and 4pm.

Poetry in the trees at The Kymin

A forest of poems has been written about trees but surprisingly, few poets have ever displayed their poems within trees. ‘Beech Book’ and ‘Hear This’, the poems of award-winning creative writing student, Marchant Barron, will be floating amongst the trees on The Kymin, one of the best viewpoints in the whole of the Wye Valley. Up a steep road and tucked away, the trees on the Kymin have a view that rivals the sky. At the crest, the Kymin is crowned in history. A beech over two hundred years old, a silent witness to the sunrise shared by Nelson and Lady Hamilton, holds the sonnet ‘Beech Book’. This tree collects all our memories – a book of stories. ‘Hear This’ waits in a quiet grove next to a naval temple and watches Offa’s trail. This poem is about how trees hear our words when we are lost.
Marchant’s poems will be at The Kymin 5th – 20th May. The Kymin is cared for by the National Trust and open from dawn to dusk every day.
These are all FREE EVENTS


The Shire Hall is accessible throughout, as is the outside performance space (which is cobbled) in Agincourt Square.
The evening fire parade at 8.30pm will take place on a closed road and wheelchair users are welcome to join the procession.
The Kymin is accessed via a steep and single track road with passing places.
Mobility parking – three accessible parking spaces, adjacent to the Round House, beyond the car park
General Parking – at the entrance to the property, free; donations welcome
Toilets – available to visitors of the Round House (only when open, located on the first floor, not accessible to wheelchairs)
Sensory Experience Grounds – partly accessible, hard gravel paths, slopes with some steps
Pleasure grounds – mostly lawns
Seating – benches are scattered across the property
Naval Temple – accessible on one level
Round House – ground floor only accessible by ramp (please ask the room steward)
Pathways – rough and uneven surfaces throughout the property, some level ground. One large flat area of lawn, which is only accessible by crossing other sloping lawns