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Screening and Talk - Can Gardening Help Save the Planet?

This event combines a screening of the short (20 minute) film Back to the Garden with a Q & A with experts on gardening for nature - how to nurture native flowers and plants and the insects, birds and mammals that depend upon them in any public or private garden or plot.

Back to the Garden? is a short documentary by Michelle Golder. A personal study of a unique woman at a pivotal time, Back to the Garden? explores the ways a community garden and the ethos of one of its founders have inspired and educated those who have encountered them. Charlotte Synge was the 7th child of an impressive set of parents - Nobel prize-winning biochemist Richard Millington Synge and Virginia Woolf's niece Dr Ann Stephen, both of whom were highly active in the peace and human rights movements and brought their children along. After an early escape to sea, two sons, and a professional life in science, research and education, Charlotte has invested her later years in the most direct environmental action possible – community permaculture gardening. The film briefly introduces Charlotte's history, the beautiful community garden she enables in Cambridge, and some of the diverse people who are learning and taking part there. But it also touches on what it feels like to love nature, and to be active and knowledgeable in relation to the earth's environment, at a time when it is about to face catastrophic change. The film ends with Charlotte once again joining a march, through the medieval streets of Cambridge, calling for the university, at which her grandmother gave the first ever lecture in psychoanalysis, to divest from fossil fuels. Can we go back to the garden? Or is it already too late?

Speakers at the Q&A will include Charlotte as well as Geoff Morley, Senior Facilities Coordinator, for the National Trust and author of several papers on the impact of urban gardening on insect populations.

Seats are limited, so this is a ticketed event. Funds raised will be divided between the Soil Association, the Community Garden and the Cambridge Commons, which works to reduce inequality through community engagement in the city.

Tickets by email to (seats limited but you will be informed quickly if you apply too late) or from Eventbrite: (NB you can only book one ticket at a time through Eventbrite).

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