‍‍‍‍‍‍© 2018‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍ The R‍‍‍ingsfield Hall Trust

Ringsfield Hall, Hall Road, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8JR  ‍‍‍        

UK Reg. Charity 1093404, Charitable Co. 4222560

‍‍‍‍‍‍Roots & Branches Festival is a collaborative community event hosted by ‍‍‍Ringsfield Ha‍‍‍ll EcoActivity Centre

Nick Hoare moved to Suffolk in 2010 with Kim to set up Ivy Grange Farm Yurts‍‍‍, a Green Glamping site, and winner of the Suffolk Greenest County Sustainable Tourism Award.  With lo‍‍‍ng experience of living in a closed community, coupled with a recognition that the only way forward for society has to be based on sustainable practices, he is keen to promote local community networks based on environmentally friendly and ethical practices.

Simon Paylor is the Centre Director of Ringsfield Hall Activity Centre, having previously run a small international development organisation with partners in East Africa and Asia, taught music and delivered community music programmes in an asylum detention centre, and worked with a youth offending prevention project involving one to one mentoring and group activities.  An aspiring practitioner of social change, he is motivated by the need for and belief in 'connection', and a politics of compassion and care.


Lou is one of the Education Coordinators as Ringsfield Hall EcoActivity Centre with a special responsibility for Marketing & Development.  An experienced Outdoor Learning practitioner, she also has an MA in fine art with an interest in Art & Ecology, and loves to provide nurturing and inspiring experiences in nature.

Roots and Branches Festival emerged out of a deep sense of concern and care for the big problems we face in urban and rural communities. We connected together as neighbours, and realised that each of us were asking very similar questions, such as:

"What would a truly healthy community look like?"

Of course, this kind of question (and the many that follow it) spark imagination about possible solutions, and we've been inspired by countless community initiatives that seek to demonstrate 'active hope': acts of love and care that connect people together, big and small.  We resonated deeply with George Monbiot's piece articulating how we can take back control from the bottom up: 'Through local initiatives we can regenerate our culture and make politics relevant again'.

This call to find compassionate and sustainable ways of living and fresh resources for our lives has never been stronger.  Roots & Branches Festival is our way of answering that call, and to offer whatever contribution we can: to resource grounded activism, and to help support and catalyse all those who care about building connected communities.  2018 is our first ever festival, so it's a bit of an experiment!  But we know that gathering with people asking similar questions, sharing their stories and ‍‍‍learning from each other ‍is really important and really powerful: we look forward to seeing you here!

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‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Kim Hoare lives locally and is inspired by the localism, creativity and sense of community in this part of North Suffolk.  Having moved from London in 2010 with Nick after a lifetime of working in television, it's been a refreshing change to see the sunrises and sunsets and listen to the birds whilst learning about the different rhythms and social scene of what (on the surface) might seem like a sleepy rural backwater, but which in reality is quite different!   She has a love of cycling, sleeping under canvas‍‍‍‍‍‍, local gossip, networking and singing.

‍‍‍The Convening Team‍‍‍

‍‍‍Clare Seek lives in Portsmouth and enjoys coming to Ringsfield for a fix of the peace, fresh air and nature.  S‍‍‍he is a community and environmental activist, who gets her hands dirty running projects such as a Repair Café, a food buying group and an urban fruit harvesting project.  She believes that community is where the heart is and is excited about the opportunities that our current world offers.  Clare is an Art of Hosting practitioner and will be helping to facilitate and record our conversations using Art of Hosting methods.