Prepare to go wild in the church yard at Great Hale this weekend.
The Great Hale Wildlife Festival on Saturday and Sunday is forming part of the Patronal Festival of St John the Baptist’s Church which has just received partial funding for a new floor and foundations in the nave which have been damaged by beetles.
The event is aimed at bringing the community together to raise more towards the renovation work and helping everyone understand the importance of caring for the environment and conservation.
Church warden Elaine huckle explained events will be going on outside the church. She said: “We came up with the idea of a wildlife festival and it has really taken off.
“We have lots of wildlife groups and experts coming and bringing stalls including beekpeers, our local hedgehog rescue lady, the local toad group, North Kesteven District Council, owl care, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust young supporters and Yorkshire Wildlife Park will be coming on the Sunday to tell us about their bears, polar bears and lions they have saved.”
Events are on both days from 10am. In particular on Saturday things kick off at 2pm with a a barbecue and at 7pm there is a Music and Moments concert and supper at £7 per ticket (under 16s free). Enjoy a relaxed summer’s evening
performance by young musicians from Kesteven and Grantham Girls School interspersed with enlightening moments from wildlife experts. After the concert there will be batwatch in the churchyard.
Sunday starts with a community fun dog show at 10am until 12 noon. Entries arrive at 9.45am to register. Entry fee £1 per class – pay on the day. Prizes are sponsored by Heckington Vets and the Natural Dog Food Company.
On Sunday afternoon there will be a strawberry tea at 3.30pm for £3.50 each, the talk by Yorkshire Wildlife Park is at 4pm and things are rounded off with a service of thanksgiving.
There will be a pony, bats and rabbits on display. there will be wildlife activities, arts and crafts and a nature trail.
Local schools have been joining in a wildlife art competition to be judged by local artist Mike Weston at 3pm no Saturday.
Mrs Huckle encourages everyone to go along and learn from the experts more about wildlife and how they can help protect it and support others that do.
Inside the church they are recreating a ‘Creation station’ with a rainforest canopy, ocean life, woodlands, jungle and insect life. Earlier this month a workshop day gathered locals to make items for the event.
Mrs Huckle said: “It is not just about the floor. We all realise the importance of protecting our earth. We are all learning and trying, but bees and hedgehog species are disappearing in this area.
“We have been trying to make our churchyard neat and tidy but with places where wildlife can feed and have habitats.”
They will round off the festival with a peal of bells at the service of thanksgiving as an opportunity to reflect on what has been learnt over the weekend.