Green Futures

About Green Futures

Green Futures was a flagship programme for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, culminating in the epic showpiece event - Our Wilder Family (see video).  This was the UK's longest drone show with hundreds taking to the sky, exploring our connection to nature. The full programme explored a range of topics that all used art to convey powerful environmental messages.  These can be found below.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with support from Garfield Weston Foundation and Severn Trent Community Fund, Green Futures explored Coventry and Warwickshire’s wildlife, natural heritage, and landscape, uncovering the story of its ‘hidden nature’ and increasing local stewardship.

Through this programme, Coventry achieved it's aim in becoming the greenest and most environmentally conscious UK City of Culture to date, with a continued legacy for the city.

As we write the next chapter of the story for the city that moves, our legacy activity will focus on continuing our Green Futures work, alongside our local and global partners, such as the British Council, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Canals & Rivers Trust, to ignite social activism, connecting and reconnecting communities to nature and heritage and prioritising issues that most directly affect them.

This ambitious programme will unearth stories to inspire a modern, diverse city to reimagine its 'Green Future' for wild and human life.

Follow our journey on our dedicated YouTube channel and social media #GreenFutures #HeritageSupported

Watch Green Futures Event Videos

Coventry 2021 Green Futures Events Archive

Wildlife Gathering

FRI 20 MAY 2022 TO SUN 22 MAY 2022

Celebrate our wildlife and discover Coventry’s hidden nature on World Bee Day (Friday 20 May), International Tea Day (Saturday 21 May) and International Day for Biodiversity (Sunday 22 May).

Our Wilder Family

SUN 15 MAY 2022

This record-breaking show will be the longest drone display in the UK. As the drones take to the sky you will enjoy a light show as you have never seen before, inspired by the beauty of nature all around us.

FLOW: Turning the Tide – An Ocean Fair

Turning the Tide – An Ocean’s Fair is a family-friendly event where audiences can experience the power of tides and waves on land. See the beauty, wealth and power of the ocean through VR, film and sound experiences.

Pirates of the Canal Basin


21 Apr - 24 Apr
An epic, joyful adventure story for all the family at Coventry Canal Basin. Part promenade, part static spectacle, we’ve transformed Coventry Canal Basin into a lively pirate harbour town full of strange and wonderful characters and stories. There’s even a stranded ship staging live music and aerial acrobatic spectacles. 

Juneau Projects in Spon End - Creative Workshop

Explore the wildlife of Spon End!

Join artists Juneau Projects in a creative workshop where you can learn about and share your knowledge of the creatures and plants that live in and around Spon End. Discover what lives here now and what else may have lived here in the past. 

Juneau Projects in Spon End - Wildlife Walk with The Sherbourne Valley Project

Explore the wildlife of Spon End! Join artists Juneau Projects and Charlotte Ridpath from the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust for a nature spotting walk on the River Sherbourne in Spon End, where you can learn about and share your knowledge of the creatures and plants that live in and around Spon End. Discover what else may have lived here in the past and how the river and people have evolved together, pushing and pulling as the city has grown.

Green Week

Green Week is a week of events and education for all communities across Coventry and Warwickshire to get involved with. The aim is to educate about sustainability and evoke action at all levels from grassroots projects up to local government change.

Little Acorns drop in session at Moat House Park

Please come and join us on Tuesdays in the park for these woodland wellbeing sessions where you and your little one/s can explore the park with Nature Tots fun activities with Anna from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, relax and unwind in The Woodland Library with Coventry Libraries staff and have a cuppa and a biscuit under the canopy of trees. 

Song and Soil - Growing Together at Food Union allotment

We’ve turned the soil and sown the seeds so now join Food Union as they continue to nurture their CV5 growing site by planting out all our summer crop. There’ll be plenty of spring jobs to be getting on with and the Food Union Team will be on site to answer all your food growing questions.

Song and Soil - Green Futures at Food Union allotment

The majority of the Food Union growing site is planted up now but join us as we look forward to the rest of the growing year and toast the end of City of Culture be celebration our Green Future. There will be tours of our CV5 site, opportunities for harvesting fresh herbs and salads, interactive food growing activities for all ages and plenty of tasks for those who want to get stuck in with some gardening.

Observations On Being

Observations on Being is an inspiring journey through Coventry’s Heritage park revealing our unity with nature.

Music, poetic storytelling and compelling visuals will invite you to explore your relationship with the natural world in this exhibition of newly commissioned immersive experiences by Marshmallow Laser Feast.

Small Bells Ring - Complete Programme

Small Bells Ring invites you to hop aboard the RV Furor Scribendi, a floating library crammed full of short stories.

Small Bells Ring is a Studio Morison project, co-commissioned with Super Slow Way in collaboration with Coventry Libraries & Lancashire Libraries supported by Canal & River Trust, BBC CWR  & Coventry City Council.

Flock Together

In conjunction with Observations on Being and commissioned by Coventry City of Culture Trust as part of the Green Futures programme, Flock Together will see us working together to challenge the underrepresentation of people of colour in nature, on a series of scouted bird watching walks. 

CastAway

Highly Sprung’s CastAway is a stunning outdoor performance that explores the impact of today’s throwaway society on our waterways. Featuring a unique gyroscopic flying machine, it presents a brand new approach to aerial theatre. The all female cast immerses audiences in an underwater world where performers dive, twist and float over 26 feet in the air to delight, inspire and captivate audiences of all ages.

Beneath The Trees

Co-created by Coventry Arts Collective, Beneath The Trees was an urban village fete of music, food, dancing, performance, people, and storytelling for the whole family.  

28th August 2021 

Walking Forest Coventry

A Performance Action across Coventry  

Dawn on Friday October 15th until Dusk Saturday October 16th 

‘Courage calls to courage everywhere’ Millicent Fawcett (1913) 

A felled tree moves through the streets of Coventry, carried by a large group of women.  An act of endurance and love for the planet and future generations. Planting seeds of courage across the city as they go.

Coventry Biennial 2021: Deliquescence Delight: Making Ink from Mushrooms with Lisa Franklin

Lisa will guide you through the process of turning Shaggy Inkcap mushrooms into ink and then invite you to use this ink for writing, drawing and/or painting inspired by fungi. In the process, find out how inkcap mushrooms emerge as whole fruiting bodies and then gradually ‘deliquesce’ or liquify into a black ink in the process of releasing their spores: a sort of ‘death into new life’ performance. You will take away with you the instructions for creating your own ink from mushrooms and your own writing or drawing/painting.

CHANGE Festival

Change Festival 2021 invites you to RISE UP to climate change, with an uplifting weekend of theatre, cabaret, discussions, music, workshops, craft and films for all ages.

Change happens when we rise up together. In 2020, we rose to the challenge of Coronavirus, transforming the way we lived overnight. Despite the widespread pain this virus inflicted, 2020 also brought many of us in deeper connection with nature, lowered our ecological footprint, strengthened communities and gave us a moment to pause and reflect.

UK Green Film Festival: NOW

A new wave of climate activists is rising, concerned and angry about our future in an ever warming world. Are people listening? Will governments care? NOW follows this young generation of rebels as they do everything they can to challenge the status quo and push for social and political change. From Greta Thunberg's landmark school strikes to Vic Barrett's youth movement to sue the U.S. government over the continued use of fossil fuels, director Jim Rakete is joined by iconic veterans of protest Wim Wenders and Patti Smith to ask some of the most prominent voices in the climate rebellion what motivates them to take to the streets.

becoming fungi, becoming forest

becoming fungi, becoming forest is a guided tour of performance, poetry, moving image, mycelial and wild yeast experiences, choreography and singing at a series of secret locations across Coventry’s city centre.

We invite you to travel in small groups across the city to experience a performance celebrating the magic and beauty of being alive and part of the living world - even in a city. Inspired by Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life, we will imagine Coventry as a place of invisible connections and interacting ecosystems including humans, fungi, trees, microbes and other life.

Coventry Biennial 2021: Listening to the Anthropocene

Suitable for all ages

Exhibition open: Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm

Presented as a part of the third Coventry Biennial, Listening to the Anthropocene at Coventry Cathedral is a major exhibition of sound and moving image artworks that explores the ways that field recording and sonic research can help attune us to the shifting state of our planet, at a range of scales.

Newly commissioned and specifically adapted artworks form an immersive sound installation in the Nave of the iconic Coventry Cathedral throughout the duration of HYPER-POSSIBLE.

International artists with relationships to locations that have been affected by climate change present artworks, creating an exhibition that explores the idea that we have moved into a new geological epoch – one that is marked by the impact of human activities on the Earth.

‘Listening to the Anthropocene’ is originally the title of a significant lecture by artist-geographer AM Kanngieser, which maps the range of recent ‘eco-acoustic practices’ used by artists and others from around the world. 

Coventry Biennial is a festival of contemporary art taking place across Coventry & Warwickshire within and supported by UK City of Culture 2021. Expect new work by local and International artists, workshops, performances, talks, tours and much more.
For more information visit: www.coventrybiennial.com

Image: Ben Rivers, Look Then Below, 2019. Courtesy of Ben Rivers and LUX, London.

Opening times:

The Cathedral

Wednesday - Saturday, 10am-4pm

Due to Christmas, New Year and existing events at the Cathedral the exhibition will be closed: 

14th October; 

10th-25th and 27th November 2021; 

1st-3rd, 11th, 15th-31st December 2021; 

1st, 19th-21st January 2022 (inclusive).

Coventry Biennial 2021: Talking About the Anthropocene

A day of talks to accompany the Listening to the Anthropocene exhibition at Coventry Cathedral. Speakers will include artists from the exhibition, as well as writers and academics who are critically engaged with climate change and the concept of the ‘anthropocene’ (which suggests that we have entered a new geological age, defined by the impact of human activities on the planet). There will be a focus on how practices of listening, field recording and sound art can address these issues in useful ways.

Branching Out: Woodland Wellbeing sessions

Woodland Wellbeing sessions for adults who have a neurodiverse diagnosis (or are exploring a diagnosis) including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Tourette’s Syndrome, Aspergers and Dyscalculia.

Moss Murals: Walking Trail

Discover the hidden animals, birds, insects and plants that inhabit our City - brought to life in living moss murals. Artist Mosstika’s playful living creations are hidden around the ring road, linking vital green spaces and pocket parks along the 1 mile trail. 

Pick up a spotter’s guide and see if you can find the rare Bechstein Bat, Peregrine Falcon and Otters as you go.

 

Projects

The Pod

Food Union was founded in 2014 and is one of the Pod’s citywide social activism programs that exists to create conversation and action around the common language of food. On their ¾ acre plot of land, Food Union grows products for The Pod cafe, holds a variety of ‘soil to table’ workshops and hosts monthly musical gatherings with an emphasis on seasonal activities.

Walking Forest

Walking Forest is a 10-year artwork that culminates in the planting of a new intentional woodland by 2028 to mark the connection between women, activism and trees. As part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 Walking Forest will deliver an ongoing campaign of activity including a camp and a climate action as our year unfolds. 

Nature Nurture

Nature Nurture is a long term arts, culture and nature conservation project to engage local communities in accessible activities with an intentional impact on individual and community wellbeing, and the wellbeing of the green space environments existing in the community.

 

Image Gallery