Lewes Railway Land Festival to turn its attention to water

Lewes Railway Land nature reserve
Lewes Railway Land nature reserve

The popular Lewes Railway Land Festival will this year turn its focus on water in its many forms.

Twenty-four exhibits and activities are planned for a free afternoon of fun and information on Sunday, June 23, from 2-5pm.

The Linklater Pavilion’s sedum roof will be explained and water saving devices demonstrated by Chandlers as well as water games provided by Lewes New School.

A working model of a ground source heat pump by Priory School; a soil display by City College Brighton and Hove; a hand pumped water model of the chalk aquifer by Tom Crossett and the ever popular river processes tank will all be on display.

The Sustainability Team from Lewes District Council will be exploring how water is hidden in the food we eat and the things we buy as well as showing how to make solar boats.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust will be providing activities and insights into the life of the Ouse while the highly popular puppets by Wishworks will give two performances of ‘Secrets of the Deep’.

The Water Efficiency in Buildings Network at the University of Brighton will be showcasing its activities and running a Water Efficiency Message competition. Its stand will also have free water saving products from South East Water.

And Nicola Peel, famous for her Amazon water conservation work, will make a welcome return to the Linklater.

A highlight of the afternoon will be the showing of a digital fly-through, commissioned by the Environment Agency, of the Ouse valley under different sea levels.

The event will also feature the launch of Bella the Bear for young children. Created by author Steve Savage, Bella will reside at the Railway Land as well as making outreach visits to schools. She will have her own diving bell and waterproof camera and will help younger children appreciate the wildlife found in ditches and ponds.

Cream teas will be available in a room decked with spectacular artwork by Springlines while the Lewes Printmakers will show the progress of their forthcoming book on the River Ouse.

Railway Land Project Director John Parry said: “The exhibitors have been enthusiastic in their willingness to provide a fun family day out about such an important resource.”

The day will end with water-inspired acoustic performances promoted by Smarter Living Network called ‘Songs to the River’. Performers include Small Shipwrecks, Guy Hayes and Stella Homewood. It’s taking place on the Railway Land from 5.30-8.30pm and ticket (£5) are available from the Union Music Store and www.smallshipwrecks.co.uk