Location: The Rural Life Centre, Farnham. GU10 2DL

Date: 1st of June

Time: 4pm - 9:30pm

The Dream of the Field Cricket: words and music for the late afternoon and evening


Afternoon (4pm – 5.45pm)

Beginning with a short ‘walk for inspiration’ in the company of writer Laurence Rose we will explore ways of experiencing, observing and describing the unique sounds, colours, landscape and wildlife of Farnham Heath. Then, through a workshop we will look at the various writing styles and word-choices that enable us to capture moments in nature that will never be repeated – the essence of a place and a time that makes each experience unique.
No writing experience or nature expertise necessary, anyone interested in nature writing, poetry or prose, lyrical or technical, fiction or non-fiction will be welcome. During the walk we will be joined by the artists and musicians seeking inspiration to take into their evening performance.

Free of charge but places are limited so booking essential (see below).


Picnic supper (5.45-6.30) - We welcome you to join us for a picnic supper. Please bring your own food as the cafe will be closed. Come and share in the evening light.


Evening (6.30-9.30)

6.30-7.30 - A Salon evening for ‘Back from the Brink’ at Farnham Common.

Farnham Common is one of the most extraordinary landscapes in the UK. Nothing better symbolises its rarity, and its delicacy, than the Field Crickets that make their home in its heathland. Their return to this rescued environment should make us all stop and think our place and obligation here.

The Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris) has long been celebrated by writers and artists, from John Clare and Gilbert White to our own time. Its lyricism has become all the more poignant, more thought provoking, with the threat to its habitat.

Grammy-nominated Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved presents a salon of music and words inspired by the Crickets of Farnham Common. He is joined by the conservationist and author Laurence Rose, Farnham Common warden Mike Coates, and Macedonian composer-violinist Mihailo Trandafilovski spinning together music and words from the 18th to 21st Centuries.
The performance will include the World Premiere of 6 Calls by Sheppard Skærved, based on the call of the Field Cricket slowed down 250 times – revealing astonishing details which the crickets themselves are thought to be capable of perceiving, but would be impossible for humans to appreciate.  The evening will be presented in salon-style, with opportunities for discussion and conversation, and will finish, at dusk, on the common, listening to the crickets, most natural of artists, singing...


Peter Sheppard Skærved - Violin/presenter

Laurence Rose - Speaker

Mike Coates - Speaker

Mihailo Trandafilovski – Composer/violinist

7.30-9.30 – walk on the heath at dusk.

The sounds of the evening are part of what defines the heathland experience. Field Crickets and Nightjars are the most prominent voices, but we can expect a surprising array of others. Our artists and ecologists will talk a little about the sound-world of the heath, but mostly the animals will speak for themselves.

Free of charge but places are limited so booking essential (see below).


To Book:

Booking is essential.
Please let us know the number of people attending, your names and which of the following options you would like to partake in:

  1. The 'Afternoon' session only - 4-5.45pm.
  2. The 'Evening' session only - 6:30-9:30pm.
  3. Both - 4-9:30pm.

Please email: farnham.heath@rspb.org.uk

Your details, along with your email address will be permanently deleted post-event.
This event is FREE, thanks to our funders, the National Lottery Heritage Fund.