Otley Wildlife Arts Festival has established a cultural link with its neighbouring festival, the Ilkley Literature Festival, for the first time.
The internationally known Ilkley Festival, which runs from 7-23 October and overlaps the Otley Wildlife Arts Festival which is on 14 and 15 October, is presenting a specific nature talk by leading naturalist and author Dr Amy-Jane Beer in partnership with the Otley Festival.
The jointly presented event on Sunday 9 October at the Ilkley Playhouse features the Yorkshire based Dr Beer talking about her new book, The Flow – Rivers, Waters and Wildness, which is described as a journey of natural, cultural and emotional discovery as the author explores Britain’s rivers.
Amy-Jane Beer is a biologist turned naturalist and writer. She has worked for more than 20 years as a science writer and editor, contributing to more than 40 books on natural history. She writes for The Guardian, British Wildlife and BBC Wildlife magazine, among others. Dr Beer is honorary president of the Friends of the Dales (Yorkshire Dales Society) and sits on the steering group of the environmental arts charity New Networks for Nature and on the conservation steering group of the Castle Howard Estate.
Commenting on the partnership, Andrew McKeon, chair of Wildlife Friendly Otley, the charity which organises the Wildlife Arts Festival, said: “We are delighted to establish a partnership with the prestigious Ilkley Literature Festival and to have such a pre-eminent naturalist as Amy-Jane Beer from Yorkshire talking about her book on rivers, a topic close to the hearts of the people of Wharfedale.
“Books on nature, wildlife and the environment are increasingly popular, particularly since the Covid pandemic when people found solace and comfort in the outdoors and discovered the joy of experiencing nature. We are grateful to the Ilkley festival organisers and look forward to our partnership developing in the future.”
Tickets for Amy-Jane Beer’s talk can be booked by phone 01943 816714 or online at
The Otley Wildlife Arts Festival opens with a talk on Friday October 14th at 7.30 at Otley Courthouse by the best selling nature writer Simon Barnes. On the Saturday evening, October 15, also at the Courthouse, the festival welcomes back the award winning wildlife film make and cameraman, Ian McCarthy, with a brand new presentation Howling with Wolves.
The festival includes a free exhibition on the Saturday (10am-4pm) at Otley Courthouse of wildlife as shown in artworks, crafts, photography and talks. There will be a lunchtime music and poetry reflecting the nature themes at the nearby Horse & Farrier pub. Full information can be found at www.wildlifefriendlyotley.org.uk/festival and at www.otleycourthouse.org.uk