At the time of writing, it’s exactly two months until Henry Dimbleby, author of the National Food Strategy, sustainable farming champion, co-founder of LEON Restaurants, and co-author of Ravenous: How to get ourselves and our planet into shape, comes to Hylands House in Chelmsford (18th June) to talk to Jules Pretty, Chair of Essex Climate Action Commission.

As Dimbleby writes, with 28% of the UK population clinically obese, compared to 1% in 1950, this is one of the most serious – and wholly avoidable – crises facing this country.

For those wanting to find out more about the inspiration behind Ravenous here’s a link to a recent Guardian article: Rage Against the Food Machine.

All Hands-on-Deck for Midsummer Madness

We are really excited about the huge numbers of activities taking place at this year’s Midsummer Madness Family Day at Cressing Temple Barns on Sunday 25th June.

Everything from storytelling, live theatre, drama, writing and illustration workshops, eco-crafts and arts in The Earthlings Tent, woodland crafts, coding, fairy trails and a mud-kitchen.

If you fancy getting your hands dirty and indulging in a spot of mud-pie making, learning how to make a jellyfish out of a leftover plastic water bottle, weaving giant flowers out of willow, assisting with our storytelling armchair and so on, drop us a line to find out more about volunteering at Essex Book Festival. The more hands on deck the better!!

Family Fun Day at Harlow Central Library

Celebrate the first anniversary of Harlow Library’s wonderful refurbishment by joining us for a day of FREE family activities on Saturday 17 June 10am–4pm

With lots of drop-in activities including Family Storytime, Arts & Crafts by ACL, Childrens Book Trail, Bertie Dog Therapy and Baby & Toddler Rhymetime. There will be a special performance by Livewire Theatre Group – you won’t want to miss that.

Free Childrens Workshops

There are limited places for the workshops so early booking is essential.

A cultural storytelling session with Essex-based Teacher and Writer, Sade Fadipe – Fun Stories from Far Away as she shares from her book A Fun ABC, taking you on an alphabetical family adventure in a far-away place. Told in a Claps, Rhymes and Rhythms, this is bound to be lots of fun, with Arts & Craft too. For ages 4+.

Author Storytime with SP K-Mushambi as she shares her book Tarirai’s Choice. Meet the Big Safari Five. Will they be able to help Tarirai solve the problem? Will they save Bao the Baobab tree in time? A fun interactive reading session with colouring activity and instruments to play. For ages 4-8.

Writing for Nature Workshop with Earthlings author, Ray Star. Come along for a creative writing session with a wildlife twist! Does your child love animals and nature? Together we’ll create a story highlighting a creature or creepy crawly of their choice and go on an adventure to help nature through the written word. Parents / Guardians are welcome to join in! For ages 7+.

Keep an eye on our Family Fun Day page for all the latest updates of the free drop-in activities.