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Art and nature combine at SVP

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Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) has a reputation for conservation projects that support biodiversity and improve green spaces for local people.

However, the charity, which works with volunteers all over the district, also has a stated aim to preserve and protect arts and rural skills.

CEO Clare Mahdiyone explains: “People know SVP for our proactive wildlife and community projects – but our work also involves helping preserve and promote traditional creative skills such as rag-rugging, which was the focus of a session earlier this month.

“We have our usual packed schedule of eco-activities coming up this summer… as well as a host of events to help people unleash their more creative side.”

The Landscapes of the Lark festival is also the focus of a photography competition, which runs until Tuesday 1 August, and an art exhibition in Stroud.

“We’re working with Emily Joy and Ali Cockcroft of Periscope to host a series of creative workshops and an exhibition for Landscapes of the Lark,” explains SVP’s Sharon Gardham, who’s organising the festival. “There are free drop-in workshops running from Friday 18 to Wednesday 23 August and an exhibition from Friday 22 September to Sunday 1 October at the SVA Artspace [the former World Foods shop].

“The pop-ups will be an exciting and immersive way to bring the landscapes of our commons into the centre of town.”

On Sunday 25 June, Shropshire-based artist Maggie Humphry is the tutor for a day of learning to use pen and ink. The session takes place at Stroud Brewery and materials are included in the cost of £60.

SVP is also presenting a special one-day fiction writing workshop with Stroud’s very own best-selling author Katie Fforde, with delicious food as well as expert writing tuition from Katie and two hand-picked tutors. Katie will be hosting the day at her home in Rodborough on Saturday 2 September.

There are also walks, talks and nature sessions planned throughout the summer, including a series of family-friendly events tying in with Stroud Nature’s Festival of Nature.

To find out more and book, visit stroudvalleysproject.org/events. Friends of SVP obtain a 20 per cent discount on most events, as well as supporting the charity’s work across Stroud, Cam, Berkeley, Stonehouse and Bisley.

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