TV wildlife star to headline Planet Purbeck festival

Rising TV star Nadeem Perera will be the big draw at the 2023 Planet Purbeck Festival in Swanage when he fronts a celebration of local wildlife at The Mowlem.

The wildlife presenter, recently seen on Springwatch from RSPB Arne and on David Attenborough’s Saving Our Wild Isles, will star in a lavish Celebration of Purbeck at The Mowlem at 7 pm on Saturday 23rd September 2023. The event is free to attend.

The Mowlem, at the heart of entertainment in Swanage

The Mowlem will host a Celebration of Purbeck night for the 2023 environmental festival

Passionate drive to make nature accessible to all

Nadeem, regarded as one of the biggest up and coming talents in wildlife media, will talk about his groundbreaking birdwatching group Flock Together and his passionate drive to make nature accessible to all, particularly young disadvantaged people.

Nadeem, who grew up in London and shot to fame during lockdown when he shared his love of bird watching online, said:

“Traditionally when you think of a birder, you don’t picture people who look like me. If you look at an outdoor space and there’s no one who looks like you, it’s unlikely you’ll engage with it.

“I watched the likes of David Attenborough, Steve Irwin, Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan as a child. I always thought that I was ‘too brown’ to be a wildlife TV presenter and I almost lost my vision of this dream totally!

“But, today, I stand here as a wildlife TV presenter and a reminder to all young children of beautiful brown shades that they should never feel like they can’t be something and, most importantly, never feel like an outsider!”

Nadeem Perera (left) with Michaela Strachan and Ollie Olanipekun on Springwatch 2023

Nadeem Perera (left) with Michaela Strachan and Ollie Olanipekun on Springwatch 2023

“We’ve messed up the course of the world”

Nadeen also has an important message to impart on the way that climate change is already having an impact on the natural world around us all.

A recent study in the journal Global Change Biology suggests that because of global heating, Britain’s birds may stop migrating for the winter.

Nadeem saw changes himself when watching for the arrival of swifts from central Africa earlier this year – while they usually arrive in late April or early May, he didn’t notice them until two or three weeks after that.

Nadeem added:

“The swift population in Britain has dropped by 58 percent over the past five decades, which has been attributed to a vanishing insect population, loss of viable nests due to building, and climate change’s impact on migration routes.

“The relationship between these animals and the ecosystem dates back millions and millions of years. We’ve messed up the course of the world.

“We’ve been operating independently of the world, when really we are part of the world. Every action we take should have the ecosystem in mind.”

BBC and Netflix film maker Sue Western has made a programme specially for the festival
Tony Kerins

BBC and Netflix film maker Sue Western has made a programme specially for the festival

“Children have been so honest and wise”

The evening will also feature the premiere of a film called Purbeck: Let’s Go Wild especially made for the occasion by BBC and Netflix film maker Sue Western.

She has been interviewing scores of people in the area, from the age of five to 85 years, to find out what the word ‘nature’ means to them.

Sue said:

“I have been especially blown away by the children and young people I have met. They have been so honest and wise and funny, with a clarity that is both refreshing and extremely hopeful.”

The Mowlem event is the centrepiece of the ten-day festival during which Planet Purbeck will continue its twin aims of bringing people together to help nature thrive and keeping pressure on the powerful to tackle climate change.

Other highlights among a host of events to be held across Purbeck from Friday 15th to Sunday 24th September 2023 include a camp-out at Burnbake with live music; a mini festival at Sandy Hill Arts in Corfe Castle, a welly-wanging competition at Norden Farmers Market and a shoreline safari at Kimmeridge, along with the traditional autumn equinox swim at Studland’s South Beach.


Swimmers at last year’s Autumn Equinox dip off South Beach, Studland


The Big Burnbake Camp Out will take Purbeck residents back to nature for two nights

Festival highlights September 2023

  • Friday 15th: The Big Burnbake Camp Out at Burnbake Campsite, Moth Mania Nature Session at Carey’s Secret Garden, Forest Bathing at Wilkswood Farm, Swanage.
  • Saturday 16th: Fossil Discovery Walk at Lulworth Cove, Sandy Hill Arts Mini Festival at Corfe Castle.
  • Sunday 17th: A Planet Purbeck Tour of Wild Woodbury at Bere Regis, Forage for Knowledge at Harman’s Cross
  • Wednesday 20th: Welly Walks at Bere Regis, Meet the Makers at Norden Farm, Studland Deer Safari at Rempstone Forest
  • Thursday 21st: Baïna[na] Musical Performance at Bere Regis, Purbeck Folk Club Lady Nade at Langton Matravers
  • Friday 22nd: Rewilding Our Seas talk by Greenpeace at Emmanuel Church, Swanage, Bushcraft Skills at Norden, Garden Open Day at Greengage Community Garden, Swanage
  • Saturday 23rd: Autumn Equinox Swim at South Beach, Studland, Beside the Sea Festival Hub at Shore Road, Swanage, Discover Dorset Cider Farm at Corfe Castle, Celebration of Purbeck 7 pm at The Mowlem
  • Sunday 24th: Inside Out Dorset Festival at Bere Regis
Luke M Luke at Planet Purbeck stand at Swanage Carnival

Planet Purbeck Festival organiser Luke M Luke at Swanage Carnival

“Really excited to have Nadeem with us”

Festival organiser Luke M Luke said Nadeem’s presence and Sue’s film are part of Planet Purbeck’s drive to attract a wider following, particularly among young people.

Luke added:

“We are extremely excited to have Nadeem with us and I’m glad to say he was really drawn to the vibrancy and energy we are putting into the festival.

“Nadeem is already making a splash on the BBC as the new face of wildlife TV. His greatest success is his ability to inspire people beyond the traditional white middle-class groups and reach new diverse and younger audiences.

“He’s now one of the most sought-after voices in the wildlife industry, so we are very chuffed we’ve persuaded him to co-host our event!

“Sue’s films are brilliant and we’re confident there won’t be a dry eye in the Mowlem when she shows her new one.

“We want to work with our event hosts to help make new friends and connections that will ultimately play a part in Purbeck’s nature recovery journey.”

Watch video of Nadeem on Springwatch 2023 from RSPB Arne

Further information

  • Details of the festival are on the Planet Purbeck website
  • Book free tickets for The Celebration of Purbeck at 7pm on Saturday 23rd September 2023 at The Mowlem

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