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WoodFest folk and fun in the sun brings families to Hatfield Forest




A family-friendly weekend was enjoyed by thousands of people who thronged Hatfield Forest for WoodFest.

The fun started on Friday, with an evening of folk music from artists including The Complainers and Adrian Nation, before two days of performances and activities by the lakeside of the medieval hunting forest.

The highlights included Brooks Williams and the King Driscolls on Saturday evening and Hannah Saunders and Ben Savage on Sunday afternoon while comic cows provided street theatre throughout.

WoodFest at Hatfield Forest (16305198)
WoodFest at Hatfield Forest (16305198)

The Hells Bells Morris Dancers, combining steampunk and tradition, entertained crowds in the sunshine, with forest ranger and festival organiser Ian Pease as one of the accompanists on his squeezebox.

Families watched their energetic routines as they enjoyed picnics or tucked into street food ranging from a breakfast of tea and chunky toast for those who took the opportunity to camp in the National Trust landmark to a choice of world cuisines stretching from Kenya to the Caribbean.

A real ale and cider pub, constructed from canvas, slaked the thirst of revellers in the sunshine and provided a venue for open mic performances. There was also the option of a gin and Prosecco bar.

Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. Friends who met on holiday last week enjoying the festival with their children. Back left to right: Jackie Wynn from Burton End (mum of Georgiana) and Julia Caffrey from High Roding (mum of Almila). Front left to right: Almila Caffrey Ozdemir 6 and Georgiana Sarel 5. (16301350)
Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. Friends who met on holiday last week enjoying the festival with their children. Back left to right: Jackie Wynn from Burton End (mum of Georgiana) and Julia Caffrey from High Roding (mum of Almila). Front left to right: Almila Caffrey Ozdemir 6 and Georgiana Sarel 5. (16301350)

A range of activities was provided at the festival, which cost just £5 per car to attend. Children were able to make lanterns, construct bee hotels and hammer-out leaf prints while adults enjoyed yoga in the woodland or massage therapy.

As ever, the festival paid homage to its roots with a range of wood crafts displayed including turning and carving while the forest volunteers explained how their coppicing sessions help Hatfield's flora and fauna.

For those who wanted to shop, there were also dozens of stalls selling vintage items, crafts and curios.

Ian hopes to develop Woodfest into a boutique festival and said: "WoodFest is now Hatfield Forest tradition to celebrate the end of summer whilst welcoming the autumn and its beautiful colours.

Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. (16301415)
Woodfest at Hatfield Forest. (16301415)

"Thank you to everyone for supporting the festival and the army of wonderful organisers for their energy and devotion.

"Next year's festival is September 4–6, see you all there!"



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