Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Hay Festival

Half term finally came and was full of great surprises and experiences, and the first great one came when I was at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye. The main purpose of me being here was to be on a panel in front of a rather large audience for a discussion with RSPB Cymru. 

Of course, from where I live, it is quite a long drive to Hay, so we decided to stay over night; and you know those really tight confusing lanes? Well we spent half an hour searching for our place, and it turned out that the actual place we were staying in was in someone's home (with them) down a beautiful country track. 

After we'd met the home owners, explored the garden and looked at the brilliant wildlife it was soon my bed time. I'd had such a tiring day and a brilliant but nervous day still to come; my talk on stage with the RSPB and other panelists. 

Now before we set off it was pouring with rain and when we arrived the parking it already quite muddy! Before we went for a look around, we got all our gear ready and looked to see if we could see any wildlife (as it was in quite a rural area).

As the event was in a rather large field, it was probably filled with insects before all the tents went up, and someone enjoying the "fake grass" was this Buff Ermine. A lovely moth which we have been catching in our moth trap at home.

As we wandered around we found lots of different kids activities to do with writing and things like that (the event is to do with literature and books after all) and as we looked around I noticed this big black board saying "Before I Die".  All the kids had written lots of weird things but I decided to write something important and something I really mean to do..............

As you can see I wrote "Save the worlds birds" and at the end added the extinction symbol. So I tried to make people at the festival realise that it isn't just books that are important, but also the real world we share with our birds and wildlife.

After we had explored the Hay Festival, but before my event, we went to listen to a talk in the TATA tent, and the guest speaker we went to listen to was Robert Winston a famous scientist who specialises in Biology. It was a really engaging and interesting presentation and gave me a few tips on how I should speak to the audience coming to the event I was in later. 

My turn finally came round, however before I was up on stage I was transferred into the Green Room where the people talking had a chance to relax and meet the other people also talking before you went up on the actual stage.  The Green Room was full of people waiting to give talks on the books they had written.  This is what was written in the programme about the event I was in:

Discover how your family can get gardening for wildlife and discover a secret world. Ask the experts as they share their ideas and experiences. Author Kate Bradbury is joined by 12-year-old wildlife blogger Findlay Wilde and Jane Richmond from the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. The Director of RSPB Cymru, Katie-Jo Luxton, is in the chair.


Before the actual event started I got chance to meet Jane Richmond, Kate Bradbury and Katie-Jo and they were all really kind and helpful e.g. giving last minute tips on how the event would run.  However, I had already had a good chat with Katie-Jo on the RSPB stand earlier.

So the time finally came, however as nervous as I was before, as soon as I sat in the chair courage surged straight through me and I answered all the panel and audience questions as well as I could.  It was great to be able to share my passion and hopefully get more people to get outside with their children and enjoy the nature in their gardens.

At the end it was great to have my picture taken with the other three people I was speaking with. However after the talk I also met up with someone called Hugh Brazier, someone I met for the first time at the Bird Fair last year, so it was great to meet up with him again.

I really enjoyed the event and I wanted to share one of the most important things that I think came out of the discussion. Everyone with a garden has their own little nature reserve to protect and develop. But all these mini reserves together make up a really important and safe place of our fabulous wildlife. 

So what will you do with your nature reserve?


  1. You are going to be a big name in the nature field some day Fin.


  2. how wonderful, findlay. and i agree with peter's statement, wholeheartedly. keep your passion. :)

  3. The way to go Findlay, you're doing a grand job, keep up the good work.
    Looks like you had a great time?
    Been watching newly fledged Great Tits, House Sparrows and Starlings on my reserve today...[;o)

  4. well done mate, nice to see you had a great time

  5. Do you know what honestly I couldn't have stood up in front of a large crowd and given a speech like that I am well impressed I bet the audience were to. WELL DONE.

  6. Whoop whoop whoop! (Whooper swan of joy!) Thank you again to you and to all the Wildes. It was a pleasure working with you and hope to do again soon.
    Ceri rspb Cymru