Green Gathering 2013

Rozie Apps
Friday, 16th August 2013

Rozie Apps reveals her favourite bits from Big Green Gathering 2013, including permaculture gardening, transition and lots more.

Set behind Chepstow Racecourse, the Green Gathering spreads itself between lush greenery. With stunning views of the cliff banks to the River Wye which reminded me of a boat trip down the River Mekong in Laos, a beautiful abandoned mansion and the Severn bridge lit up at night, Green Gathering is a creatively filled festival for the eyes, the mind and the dancing feet.

Myself and my partner spent four relaxing days drifting between delicious food, funky music, eye-opening talks and beautifully skilled handmade crafts.

I have never been to a festival that was filled with so much happiness, love and care. Everybody was happy to see you, to share with you, to dance and laugh. Even more fantastic was how everyone there cared for the planet too. The whole festival is run on renewable energy, along with over 10 different bins so that everything could be recycled.

Although this is a small festival, there is plenty to keep you occupied, and we thoroughly enjoyed simply relaxing in the sunshine with the stunning view and a cool, locally made cider in hand.

There is even activities for the kids, where they can audition and take part in daily shows or make new friends in the kids area, whilst adults can get a massage in the Healing Fields. 

Or you can have a go at being a craftsman for the day. Learn how to make a copper bracelet, a DIY rocket stove, a wooden spoon or work with ceramics. You can also  basket weave or turn old clothes into rugs or blankets.

If music is your thing, there are several tents filled with the sound of reggae, folk rock and more to keep you relaxed or jigging all day and evening long.

My highlight was the speakers forum which had a huge array of speakers. Charles Dowding spoke about no-dig gardening which gave us some great advice for the allotment, Natalie Bennet from the Green Party gave us a political view of the current climate and Tony Gosling from The Land is Ours and also a previous BBC journalist, was hugely inspiring, looking at the lack of investigative journalism in today's age, where it is most needed. Being a journalist myself, Tony really woke me up, talking about the misinformation we receive every day, about how historically the land was stolen from the people by the parliamentarians and that there is actually enough land for every single one of us to have an acre! This would enable us all to grow our food, or have our own house and be able to live happy and healthy lives. Where is our land?

Tony's talk went perfectly with Hector Christie and Gerald Miles' talk on the Sunday about the state of GMO food in the UK. After hearing several conspiracy theories from Tony, and feeling a little overwhelmed, we watched Gerald and Hector's GMO and Monsanto talk be censored - literally- as the live feed on Green Gatherings site of the speakers forum had been hacked and all the passwords changed within the hour of their presentation. Hector had even mentioned at the beginning that an 'undercover policemen' may be amongst us!

There was also a great talk from Brigit Strawbridge about bees but one of my favourite talks was in the Transition Chepstow tent, where we learnt a huge amount about sustainable beekeeping from Monica Barlow who works at The Development For Sustainable Beekeeping. Her passion for the bees was incredible, and we learnt so much about beekeeping, which we would love to do someday.

As well as the speakers forum, various other areas offered talks throughout the weekend, with Glennie Kindred and Mike Feingold in the permaculture area, and anti-fracking talks in the campaign area.

So with a huge mix of intellect, creativity, fun and laughter, Green Gathering is a great festival for anyone wanting a bit of everything.

Rozie Apps is assistant editor at Permaculture magazine. 

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Further resources

To find out more about Green Gathering and the dates for 2014, visit

Our free to download Festival Guide and keep an eye out for the 2014 guide which is out in January

Check out our events page for lots of festivals and fun events coming up