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Festival to have a Firm Focus on the Environment

Environmental themes feature strongly in this year’s Jersey Festival of Words, with a mixture of visiting and resident writers booked to inform, explain and entertain.

Atmospheric scientist Simon Clark will be offering a rare and accessible tour of the atmosphere and how we know what we know about it when he appears to discuss his new book Firmament, while back on solid ground editors Patrick Cahill and Martin Toft will be providing a brief introduction to Éditions Emile, a new imprint celebrating the photographic collections held in the Société Jersiaise, which will be followed by a panel discussion on the future of agriculture in Jersey.

The festival, now in its sixth year, has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and will be taking a number of relevant steps including a reduction in the use of single-use plastics on site, a reduction in the number of visiting writers travelling by air and the adoption of almost wholly digital-only marketing (a limited ‘paper’ run of programmes will be printed to accompany an upcoming pullout in the JEP).

With the climate crisis never far from the headlines, journalist and writer Kate Hughes will be discussing Going Zero, which details her family's journey to zero waste and a greener lifestyle. Meanwhile at Jersey Library, Catherine Kirby will be sharing some of her favourite letters, stories and doodles from the archive of Jersey’s most famous environmentalist, Gerald Durrell.

Completing the journey from sky to earth to sea, Jersey-born writer Doreen Cunningham will feature in an event on her memoir Soundings, which recounts her experiences tracking a pod of migrating Alaskan whales from Mexico to Alaska, while Naomi and Jamie Jones’ picture-book event based on their environmentally-themed book The Odd Fish will form part of a day-long series of free family activities at Long Beach, Gorey, on Saturday September 24th organized by REAL and JCCT.

’I am delighted that we can play a part in furthering the cause of protecting and valuing our environment through events for tiny tots to centenarians; there is something for everyone,’ said Festival Chair Jennifer Bridge. ‘The impact of human activity on the environment is not far from our minds and we hope that these events will stimulate important conversations with insightful questions from members of the audiences while also bringing together people with a range of views to listen and learn from each.’

Main festival sponsors are Highvern, with the festival village being funded by Jersey Community Foundation with funds generated by the Channel Island Lottery.

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