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Turtle Dove Pilgrimage

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A re-wilding journey to the heart of Sussex, folk song and nature. About this Event Join Sam Lee on a three-night Pilgrimage to ‘re-wild’ one of Britain’s ancient traditional songs back to the very birds that inspired the folk song. Tracing the songlines of Sussex, seekers and walkers of the old ways are welcome to share this path connecting the ancient traditional song ‘Turtle Dove’ collected in 1903 by Vaughan Williams and carry it from its source to one of the last remaining populations of actual Turtle Doves. When does a song need to be re-wilded? What does the rare and almost disappeared turtledove have to do with British folk song tradition? These are questions we will be exploring as we chart the 20-mile song-line connecting The Turtledove’s song source to Sussex’ last colony of this species. This journey will explore the relationship our disappearing ancient songs have with the rapid ecological decline happening right now in the UK. Sam will lead guests on a unique and intimate passage along the sacred ways of Sussex to Knepp Estate, the most ambitious re-wilding oasis in the UK and a premier site for ecological research. We will walk amongst herds of deer, longhorn cattle and many rare species that have found sanctuary in this land that time forgot eventually meeting the small colony of Turtle Doves purring their mystical song in the old oak trees. We will carry much of our own gear, camp on the land and spend our nights around the fire singing and telling stories. This journey includes wild-swimming, foraging, drinking spring water, local history, nature connection activities, tree climbing and lots of singing this stunning song, sharing it with those we encounter on our journey and we will be cooking our evening meals over a fire. The pilgrimage will meet on Thursday evening 11th June informally at the very pub it all began in, with last arrivals joining us to depart Rusper on Friday at 12pm. We will end on Sunday morning at Knepp Castle Estate with carriages returning us back to Rusper or Horsham train station as needed for around 11 am. Your place includes all food and drink (from Friday morning onwards) and 2 or 3 nights of camping in a mixture of churches, beds and tents (provided if needed). This journey will be on foot and is for competent walkers only but for singers of any ability.
Start Date
End Date
Start location
Address Line 1
The Plough & Attic Rooms
Address Line 2
High St
RH12 4PX
End location
Address Line 1
Knepp Castle Estate
Address Line 2
West Grinstead
West Grinstead
RH13 8LJ
South East England
Easy Access
£130 – £260

Organising company

Organising Company Name
The Nest Collective

Primary contact

Ollie Denton
Marketing manager