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Bringing the outdoors in to the library

Posted on 26 Mar 2024

Visitors to Barnstaple Library next month (Saturday 13th April) could be forgiven for thinking they are taking a walk in the local countryside rather than browsing the shelves for books!

The library will be staging a Nature Take Over Day featuring talks, workshops, displays and a chance to participate in creating a mossy carpet artwork. Activities will be on offer throughout the day from 10am 4pm, and in line with the values of Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs libraries in Devon and Torbay, they will be free or low cost.

Jane Petch, Senior Supervisor at Barnstaple Library, said: “We live in a truly wonderful part of the country here in North Devon, surrounded by beautiful coast and countryside. Our Nature Take Over Day will be celebrating that, and giving the local community the chance to learn, explore their creativity, and think about sustainability, and creating a better world for future generations. All our events are low or no-cost, and we are offering something for everyone of all ages.”

The day is part of the Arts Council England-funded series of events being run throughout libraries in Devon under the ‘Pride of Place’ banner, encouraging local communities to discover and celebrate where they live.

Events on Saturday 13th April include:

Various times            | £2.50  |   All ages
Wild About The River with The Natural History Cupboard
Join the Natural History Cupboard for a lively interactive talk exploring the most amazing (and often oddest!) nature facts. Learn about the creatures that live in and around the river and out to the sea. There will be plenty of opportunity to quiz these self-confessed “natural history nerds” and take part in a special edition podcast.
The Natural History Cupboard Podcast – “The place where the weird and wonderful parts of the natural world come together!”

10am – 4pm  |  Free | All ages
Going on Taw podcast launch
Meet Katy Lee, lead artist and creative producer of ‘Going on Taw’. Katy swam, walked and canoed the Taw on an 18-month journey from source to sea, speaking to experts, gathering stories and working with seven different community groups. She has created seven podcasts, weaving together these story threads with specially composed music by the talented David Smale. We are thrilled that the first of these podcasts will be launched at Barnstaple Library.

Various times |  Pay what you can | For children
Interactive story
Sophie Cobb will be sharing her own Interactive Story for children using props and art to inspire and delve into the imagination. Expect a badger, moss, magical portholes and a chance to illustrate the story! Sophie has worked as an artist for over 30 years, she has written short films, worked as a storyboard artist, a community artist, and is now a self-employed artist selling her paintings, jewellery and folk decorations.

10am – 4pm |  Free  |  All ages
The Mossy Carpet
Join in the fun with this mass participation artwork inspired by mosses.  So far around 8,000 people of all ages have helped make 19 metres of carpet. The Art and Energy Collective hope to reach more than 100,000 people and make 100m by 2025 and they need as much help as they can get! While making the carpet there will be an opportunity to speak on the ‘Tardigrade telephone’ about the tiny actions you take to make the environment better where you live.  Tardigrades are totally resilient microscopic creatures that live in moss – they will hear your voice, and when the carpet is finished, they will speak your messages out of the carpet as part of the artwork.

Throughout April  |  Normal library opening hours
Exhibition: Devon in Detail
A display of original nature art by local artist Genevieve Edwards.

For more information about the programme of events for the day including  booking details, click here

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.