Funding awarded for new 'Wild Wanders' outdoor event

Date published: 02 May 2024

A new event will take place in Rochdale this autumn thanks to funding of £71,000 from Arts Council England.

‘Wild Wanders’ will be an outdoor environmental arts event for all ages, raising awareness of the climate crisis while developing solutions to protect the environment through learning and development activities with local school children, residents and artists.

It will culminate in a spectacular three-night trail at Hollingworth Lake in October, a fun and exciting walk featuring live performances, magical sound and light installations showing visitors what it could be like to live in a world that is once again biodiverse, carbon neutral, beautiful and sustainable.

More details on the free event will be revealed later in the year, with Rochdale Borough Council working with multi-award winning international outdoor arts organisation Walk the Plank alongside the Local Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP), Culture Co-Op, Rochdale Development Agency, Your Trust and Hopwood Hall College and University Centre.

The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and committed to be a carbon neutral borough by 2038 and during the events development will stage workshops with schools, community groups, artists and other local people, connecting with nature and increasing engagement in the climate change agenda as well as generating eye catching attractions that will form part of the trail.

Pete Courtie, head of culture and placemaking at Rochdale Development Agency said: “This funding from Arts Council England will help bring a ground-breaking experience to the borough, something we’ve never seen anything like before, engaging local people during its development and attracting lots of visitors for something very bold and beautiful. It’s an opportunity to connect our young people and the borough’s residents with the climate agenda in really exciting ways. It will be inspiring, educational and a delight for audiences.”

Liz Pugh, executive producer with Walk the Plank added:  “We know our planet is warming up too quickly and threatened by human activities, so educating children about the future in positive ways and making sure they have a say is so important - insects and mosses are as important to the health of the world as the biggest animals. We’re excited to be working on such a magical project in Rochdale where I’m pleased to see the pioneering spirit and culture of co-operation is alive and well. Wild Wanders will be ambitious and we’ve a lot to do over the coming months but it will be so worth it.”

Karen Lea, assistant principal at Hopwood Hall College and University Centre said: "We are honoured to be supporting the council's exciting plans for this outdoor environmental arts event that will inspire people of all ages and leave a lasting legacy. We proudly take part in initiatives designed to protect our environment, raise awareness of climate issues and lead to a more sustainable world. It's our goal to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to become bold change-makers, now and in the future."

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