Charlbury festival

Karen Neville

Summer

Free festival fun down by the riverside in Charlbury

Head down to the river this weekend for free family fun in Charlbury at the ever-popular Riverside Festival.

Held on the banks of the Evenlode, it has grown over the past 24 years, attracting thousands of music lovers who this year will be able to enjoy the US rock band The Pixies among many others. For youngsters there will be free pixie fun activities to join in.

There’s a packed programme of music on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st with more than 40 acts playing across four stages – rock, indie, jazz, and folk on the main two stages and all sorts on the Fringe and Buskers stages!

Headlining the main stage on Saturday is four-piece Oxford band Kanadia. Their big and bold alt rock sound and impressive stage presence has won them a growing fan base in Europe and a big following across the Atlantic in Mexico, the US and Canada.
Sunday headliner is popular upbeat garage punk band Self Help.

Other acts to look out for are Riverside favourites 2 Tone All Skas, The Knights of Mentis, Mighty Redox and eclectic Turkabilly band, Brickwork Lizards.

The second stage, run by independent record stores, Rapture in Witney and The Truck Store in Oxford has an impressive line-up of local bands including Peerless Pirates, Death of the Maiden and Ghosts in the Photographs.

The festival takes place in The Mill Field, Dyers Hill, Charlbury with entry opposite Charlbury railway station.

For more information and details

Guildford Summer Festival

Round & About

Summer

Guildford Summer Festival, with sponsor Silent Pool Gin, is back for its 36th year between 8th June to 10th August

Guildford Summer Festival is a huge celebration of all that is great and good about the town.

You’ll be able to enjoy a whole host of theatre, sport, art, music, walks, heritage, tours and days out to keep you busy over the summer.

New events for this year include Animal Encounter Tours at Merrist Wood and the University of Surrey Conductors Concert at Holy Trinity Church. Don’t miss the Woodland Fairy Fair at Watts Gallery and take a trip to the beach at Guildford on sea outside the Electric Theatre.

Popular returning attractions include the festival craft fair, farmers’ markets, cricket festival, Guildford Lions raft race, drama in the castle grounds and classical concerts. Also back by popular demand are the free Alice Day at the castle (3rd August) and the Cheese and Chili Festivals at Shalford Park (21st & 22nd July).
Join a free guided town walk exploring the history, the Alan Turing walk and new Leading Lights Walk where you can meet characters from the past. Staying outdoors there’s the Round the Hogs Back Cycle Tour to join too.

The whole Guildford Summer Festival is being sponsored by Silent Pool Gin.

There are arts exhibitions to view at the Mill Studio, Watts Gallery and Guildford House Gallery and theatre at G Live and the Yvonne Arnaud as well as Guildford Fringe Festival at several venues in July.

Find out more

Festival brochures can be picked up at the Tourist Information Centre and tickets are on sale now for most events.

Zip Now

Round & About

Summer

Whizz over the city with Zip Now London this summer

Calling all thrill seekers – if the idea of being 35m up in the air in central London, whizzing at speeds of up to 50kph over a distance of 225m appeals then read on…

Zip Now London returns to the Southbank for its third summer season today (12th) until 15th September.

This year it’s set to be bigger and better with a fourth line offering even more highflyers the chance to enjoy the views and the exhileration.

After launching from a 35-metre high tower you’ll whizz past the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Gherkin, Lambeth Palace and The Shard.

Real adrenalin junkies will be able to add on the option of a free-fall mega drop if they think they’re up to it!

Zip Now CEO Barry Shaverin said: “Zip Now London is back and better than ever offering a huge rush of adrenaline without needing to leave zone one. This year we’ve added a fourth line to meet the huge customer demand for people to fly in groups with their families, friends and colleagues.”

Zip over London Monday to Friday 11.30am to 7.30pm; Saturday 9am to 7.30pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm.

To book and for more information visit Zip Now

Sunshine or rain?

Round & About

Summer

Us Brits love talking about the weather… and there has certainly been a lot to be talking about this July. Since the weekend, it has turned to our ‘traditional’ overcast summer,  but there is more hot sun forecast. So which kind of summer do you enjoy?

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Last week, we asked about rubbish… if you feel that the process of recycling needs to be more transparent. Here is the poll result …

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Plots for Pollinators

Liz Nicholls

Summer

Alan Titchmarsh is calling on all gardeners to unite to create a refuge for struggling butterflies, moths and other pollinators this summer. Join us in your garden – and online.

The future of our butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects is under threat,” warns Mr Titchmarsh, vice-president of Butterfly Conservation.

The cold start to spring may affect how some butterflies fare this year, as they could have less time to feed and breed. But you can help by creating some ‘plots for pollinators’.
“So many flowers are great nectar sources,” adds the local star, “such as catmint, cosmos or calendula. You could attract butterflies such as my favourite, the Red Admiral,” adds Mr Titchmarsh. “[Your square metre] doesn’t have to be on the lawn – you could create a vertical garden on an unused wall or fence.”

The project encourages you to set aside one square metre to plant a nectar-rich flowerbed or a colourful container garden over the summer.

Pollinating insects fertilise many crops, as well as other plants, trees and wild flowers. Gardens can act as vital refuges for pollinators, which are increasingly under threat from habitat loss, agricultural intensification and climate change. Previously widespread species, such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Garden Tiger Moth, have seen numbers plummet in recent years.

Titchmarsh’s Top Tips

Measure one square metre of outdoor space as a plot of pollinators and fill it with open-flowered, nectar-rich plants. Choose a sunny, sheltered position and group pots on a patio, grow up a fence or wall, or pick a flowerbed patch.

Water your plot regularly – ideally from a water butt which is more eco-friendly. Water soil not the plant; larger leaves can act as an umbrella shielding roots! Remove your watering can’s rose to get nearer the plant base if necessary.

Put a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil around the plants to help prevent water evaporation and suppress weed growth.

Always choose peat-free compost and cut down on plastic. Use recyclable and recycled containers or be creative and turn tins and tubs into pots, drilling drainage holes in the bottom.

Dead-head after flowering for more blooms.

Inspire your neighbours to plant a plot to create a flowery super highway.

Avoid harmful pesticides by removing slugs and snails by hand instead. Night is the best time.

www.butterfly-conservation.org