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Behind the Bridgend Hero Dawn Woods

August 8, 2019

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Between The Trees

If we could design the ultimate summer weekend, art, science, music and nature would certainly make the cut. Fortunately for visitors, Merthyr Mawr's new, boutique festival has done just that. Welcoming families to join scientific discussion, spoken word and modern folk music, Between The Trees brings a weekend of sheer delight to Bridgend County. From surprise acts to getting closer to nature, we spoke to the festival's organiser and founder Dawn Wood to find out all there is to know about our new favourite festival.

Tell us a bit about Between The Trees

Between The Trees is a small and accessible family festival. We're not for profit, we simply want to reconnect people with nature and help them have a really good time while they do it. It's something families will go to every year, but it's not just about music. We've got everything from science and cooking to poetry and spoken word.

How did the idea for Between The Trees come about?

I work with art in primary education and my husband is a lecturer in biomedical science. We realised the way we were brought up is very different to the experiences young people are having now. We noticed too much screen time is having a negative impact on young, growing minds. We had a think about how we could help people engage with nature and Andrew did some research on how people could be healthier at a molecular level using outdoor activities. With our love of science and music, Between The Trees was born!

Your located in Merthyr Mawr - what makes it such a good location for a summer festival?

It's a magical place, incredibly beautiful and already has all the natural structures in place for a fantastic festival. It's such a unique location with sand based soil, a nature reserve and ancient trees all over. We decided to go for it and create a festival about everything we love - the music, the activities, the families. It was absolutely brilliant last year and the feedback we had was amazing. It went on for three days with local food suppliers and local businesses taking part too. It took off far better than we ever thought it would.

What do you love most about Bridgend as a destination?

It's such a welcoming county. I used to go to Ogmore By Sea as a child with my grandparents. Every Sunday they'd take me to Ogmore or Merthyr Mawr to get outside. Those places are particularly special to me - they are not far away and are totally unspoilt. Access is now better than ever and everywhere is so clean! You'll also find great independent cafes and businesses here. It's a positive , happy place to be with an inspiring environment. We love the area and we want to share it with everyone.

What can visitors expect from the festival this year?

We've got lots of incredible speakers coming to the festival this year. Marine biologist Lauren Isles will be discussing the impact of micro plastics on the ocean, Dr Alex Perkins will be discussing the science of sleep and Emma Hayhurst will be sampling the microbiome of the Merthyr Mawr forest and DNA profiling it to find out what's in the soil at Merthyr Mawr.

We've also got 25 different bands and musicians with six Welsh speaking musicians, a perma culture area, a harpist teaching the harp and vegan cooking demonstrations. We are also working in conjunction with Community Music Wales who are going to be hosting organised music sessions with students to create jam style music throughout the weekend.

If visitors can only come on one day, which day would you suggest?

Come on the Saturday 31st. The line up is incredible and we've got loads of day tickets left!

Adult Day ticket £20, Children (under 17) £5 and infants (under 4) £1
Weekend Adult tickets £70, Children £30, Infant £5

For more info on tickets to Between the Trees visit:
https://betweenthetrees.co.uk/tickets/

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