Herefordshire Whats On February 2010

PUBLISHED: 11:01 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:37 20 February 2013

What's on in Herefordshire

UGO here this spring

Jane Lewis, Herefordshire Council Tourism, Food and Marketing Manager, recommends you earmark the May Bank Holiday for a fun family day out at the Great Outdoors festival

If you are looking for fun, adventure, excitement or just something different to try this May Bank Holiday weekend, then look no further than Herefordshires University of the Great Outdoors (UGO), a two day festival packed full of outdoor activities and experiences for all.
Hampton Court, near Leominster is the venue for the event on May 1 and 2 and extreme adventurer and TV personality Ben Fogle will be on hand to offer insights into his adventures and extreme sport experiences through scheduled talks, and will sign copies of his latest book, on sale during the event. You may even catch Ben taking up the challenge to try one of the many activities on offer.

More than 4,500 people attended last years UGO event, enjoying taster sessions of the 26 activities on offer which included a climbing wall, archery, canoeing and bungee trampoline; we even had senior citizens revisiting their youth on a 250 metre zip line.

Whether based on land, in the air or on water, Herefordshire provides an exhilarating training ground for many outdoor pursuits. Mainly county-based operators will be providing visitors, on payment of a single entry fee to the event, with short taster sessions of activities in a secure environment, ranging from the extreme to the more tranquil.

For those wanting a quiet break from all of the excitement, a visit to the outstanding restored gardens of Hampton Court, will provide the opportunity to relax or lose yourself in a maze of a thousand yews, with a gothic tower at its centre.

There will also be an exhibition marquee, where local businesses will be selling their products and promoting other activities across the region, together with a host of other events across the two days.

So come along and have a go, you might just learn a new skill or get hooked on one of the wide range of exciting activities that can be enjoyed at the University of the Great Outdoors, at this action-packed weekend in beautiful, rural Herefordshire.

For further Information on this great day out, visit

Snowdrops for spring

When the first snowdrops start to appear you know winter is finally coming to an end.
So what better way to celebrate the change in seasons than by visiting one of the gardens which will be opening to the public with The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) this month? They include Ivy Croft at Ivington Green, Leominster, home of Sue and Roger Norman from February 4 to 25 (9am to 4pm). Admission is 3 with children admitted free. (More information, tel: 01568 720344.

As well as blowing away the winter cobwebs, youll be helping good causes too with these gardens expected to raise more than 100,000 for charities, which include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices and Crossroads Cares
Many gardens also welcome visitors by prior arrangement.

Information on all the gardens can be found by visiting

Treescapes Exhibition

The Treescapes Exhibition at Oriel Barker Gallery, Pontypool, until April 25 features six artists who observe and respond in different ways to the treescapes around them. Among the pieces are Herefordshire scenes by event organiser Richard Bavin, who has worked in Wellington Wood, close to his home, for nearly four years and who specialises in trees and Frances St Clair Miller who spent three years based in Herefordshires ancient deer park Moccas Park, to create a series of paintings and prints.

The other artists are Doug Eaton who lives in the heart of the Forest of Dean; Ursula Prosser; Andy Watts and Bront Woodruff who is based in north-west Herefordshire.

Elgar at Hellens

The Elgar in Hereford Group will present an unusual afternoon of Music and Poetry, performed by Herefordshire professionals at Hellens, Much Marcle, on Sunday, March 7 at 3pm. Talented young soprano, Sarah Lingard who has been making a strong impression on audiences in the south east since winning the Three Choirs Friends Bursary in 2004 and completing her 1st Class Degree at Trinity College, London, will return for the concert.

The violinist is George Ewart, a leading player in the English Symphony Orchestra and a fine soloist and chamber musician who also teaches many youngsters in north Herefordshire. Andrew Morris, also a music teacher, from Leominster, will accompany both the soloists on the grand piano, and he will also include new arrangements of two of his own Musical Remedies, a unique set of new pieces inspired by the Bach Flower Remedies. Also appearing is Owain Pryce, an 11 year old from Moreton Eye, who led the way for Herefordshire a year ago when he became one of the 12 finalists in Off by Heart, the national poetry competition, which was featured on BBC 2.

The music will include songs by Elgar and other English composers, and George will play the Violin Sonata and other music by Elgar. Poetry will include John Masefield, who became a good friend of Elgar.

Tickets for this event, at 8 (4 for students), are available at The Outback, Church Street, Hereford, and by phoning Wendy on 01531634333.

Artists at Tinsmiths

New prints by Angie Lewin, Jonny Hannah and Mark Hearld will be on show at Tinsmiths in Tinsmiths Alley, 8a High Street, Ledbury, from March 26 to April 24. Mark is inspired by Picasso and his lithographs and collages feature animals and plants. Angie will show her intricate woodcuts, larger lithographs and latest textile designs and Jonny his screen-printed posters and prints. For more information on the St Judes at Tinsmiths Easter Print Show go to

Best ever Borderlines Film Festival

The eighth Borderlines Film Festival is set to be bigger than ever.

Borderlines will screen more than 80 films in 33 venues in Herefordshire and Shropshire and beyond into the Marches between Friday, February 26 and Sunday, March 14.

Where most film festivals bring people together in one location, Borderlines covers a huge span of countryside from Ross-on-Wye in south Herefordshire all the way up to Wem in north Shropshire, a distance of over 80 miles.

As well as bringing a superlative selection of the best movies from around the world directly into the heart of communities in one of the most remote parts of the country Borderlines continues to showcase local film-making expertise.

Shot in rural Herefordshire, Tokyo and London, Shell Shock is an impressive debut feature from James Price, born and raised in Leinthall Starkes. An evocative portrait of a young war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder its a movie that anybody who has friends or family serving overseas should see. James came back to his home village on his uncles farm to shoot the scenes of conflict while his new film, The Marches, currently in development, is set squarely within the county too.

He said: Im very pleased to be screening Shell Shock at Borderlines. My earliest memories of cinema are of going to the Hereford Odeon and The Regal in Tenbury. The area defines who I am. Also showing, a sneak preview of Young Farmers from Hereford-based team, Anne Cottringer and Richard Branczik. The documentary follows members of Herefordshire Young Farmers Clubs over a year, as they face the challenges of keeping farming alive in this part of the UK. From one of the most isolated farms on the Welsh borders to the modern technology of building your herd through bull semen bought online, it captures the dramas, big and small of life on a farm: early starts, volatile markets, the threat of TB, the arrival of a new calf, leaving home. Not to mention the packed social calendar.

Chris Atkins, whose new documentary Starsuckers also screens, takes his hilarious earlier film about the demolition of our civil liberties under Tony Blair, Taking Liberties, to a venue that houses a copy of the Magna Carta, Hereford Cathedral, a brand new venue for Borderlines.
Confirmed guests for this years festival include Sleep Furiously director Gideon Koppel who will make an appearance at a village hall on the Flicks in the Sticks network while silent film supremo Kevin Brownlow, introduces Winstanley, his 1976 film about the Diggers during the English Civil War.

Brownlows It Happened Here was shot around New Radnor in the early 60s.

Finally, expect some lively debate with familiar personalities weighing in on global and local issues at the festivals Citizen Journalism event that focuses on using the media, old and new, to get your voice across. The day features thought-provoking screenings, incisive discussion and a special workshop.

A night with the stars

On Saturday, February 6, a small village in the Welsh borders will be turning its village hall into a planetarium for the night.

Planetarium Night with the Stars when Art Meets Science is presented by Gwernyfed High School Astronomy Club and Mike Featherstone, and will see the halls curved ceiling transformed into the night sky, offering a unique and unmissable opportunity to see the beauty and the science of the universe in a fascinating new way.

Star-gazers will see and learn about stars, galaxies and nebulae not easily visible to the naked eye as Gwernyfed High School Astronomy Club presents material located through the Faulkes Telescopes in Maui, Hawaii and Australia.

Pupils from Gwernyfeds Year 12 Physics class will be leading the night, giving a presentation about objects in the universe, incorporating images and data they have obtained using the Faulkes Telescope, an internet-controlled telescope situated in both Hawaii and Australia.
The Faulkes project is in its fifth year at Gwernyfed. Over this time the school has gathered a store of images of various objects in the night sky.

Accompanying the Planetarium there will be a small of exhibition of photographs taken through the telescopes and artistic interpretations of some of the images, and photographer Mike Featherstone will give a unique view of the sky over Powys.

Tickets from Glasbury Box Office: 01497 847426

The good food life

A Herefordshire author is aiming to spread the good food message this spring by launching special weekend breaks at his award-winning B&B. Rob Elliott, who runs Aspen House at Hoarwithy, near Ross-on-Wye, with partner Sally Dean, is hoping that the venture will spark a new way of life for their weekend visitors as the couple pass on what they have learned about food.

They have devised a fun weekend which will enable guests to eat and drink good local produce, and also give them an insight into todays food industry which they believe is having a harmful effect on many people.

Rob, who has written two books The Food Maze and How to Eat Like Theres No Tomorrow is passionate about what he describes as real food.

We define real food as fresh, seasonal, organic, uncontaminated by chemical inputs and unadulterated by factory processing, he says.

All food, including meat, for ourselves and for our guests is bought in season from local farmers, growers, producers and independent shops, virtually all within a 10-mile radius.
For further information visit the Aspen House website at or telephone 01432 840353.

What Is England?

Abergavenny-based photographer Robert Jones has been chosen to cover Herefordshire in a major photographic project called What Is England?

Forty-eight photographers representing the 48 counties in England will produce pictures under the themes of Person, Group, Work, Play, Urban and Rural.

The photographers have complete freedom as to how they respond to the assignments and it is hoped that by the end of 2010 the 288 images submitted over the course of the year will help to answer the brief What Is England?

If you would like to nominate subjects for Roberts portfolio go to

What its all about, Alfie

Ryan Bromley previews the months attractions at Herefords Courtyard

We may have seen the coldest British winter for more than a decade, but things are heating up as The Courtyards February programme leads us into spring. We begin the month with Blackeyed Theatres production of Alfie on Thursday, February 4 at 7.30pm.Edward Elks assumes the role of the eponymous hero famously played by Michael Caine and Jude Law. Alfie is produced by the same artistic team that visited The Courtyard in 2008 with the critically-acclaimed production of Oh What A Lovely War and promises an exciting revival of Bill Naughtons classic comedy drama. A week later Foursight Theatre brings its new production, Forever in Your Debt, to The Courtyard. When a band rolls into town, teetering on the edge of fiscal failure, their woeful stories of debt and despair weave a cautionary tale relevant to all in these stark times. Forever in Your Debt shows from Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 February at 7.30pm. We move into the past for the Giddy Ox production of Lottys War on Tuesday, February 23 at 7.30pm. Amid the backdrop of the German Occupation, Lotty struggles to remain loyal to her friends and family while appeasing the forces occupying her home island of Guernsey. If all of this drama seems, well, a bit dramatic for you, comedian Richard Herring will be taking a look at the hairier side of politics in his hit Edinburgh show Hitler Moustache at The Courtyard on Monday, February 22 at 8pm.
Courtyard Box Office: 01432 340 555.

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