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How an open air museum becomes a WeFiFo host

Looking at the other WeFiFo hosts, it’s clear that the Weald & Downland Living Museum sticks out like a sore thumb. What does a museum of historic buildings dating back to 950AD have in common with someone wanting to open their home and cook a feast for people they don’t know?

Well, the story goes something like this –

Our museum sits in the heart of the South Downs national park. We have over 50 buildings and houses that tell the story of rural life and those who lived it from 950AD into the 20th century. Still, not that much in common…

Each year we host Big Weekender events, each with a particular theme, that welcome over 6,000 visitors each weekend. For 2019 we decided to do something a little different. We wanted to get involved in what felt like a real movement, something of real importance and interest to our visitors, and so The Good Life: Revive, Restore, Recycle was born. The event is a celebration or eco-living and hopefully an eye opener to how we can all take better care of ourselves and the environment.

As a museum of rural history, the idea of living sustainably and sensitively with the environment wasn’t something that our predecessors would ever have known but it is exactly what they did. Making clothes, furniture and anything you owned last as long as possible with constant repairs, mending and upcycling was their way of life. We’ve bought a little bit of this flavour at The Good Life with upcyclers, knitters & natters, repairers and makers hosting demonstrations, talks, have-a-go activities and on site repairs.

Our predecessors were also great foragers and growers, growing their own produce and using only seasonal fruit and veg because that was all that was available.

And so we come to our introduction to WeFiFo. A huge element of The Good Life is food. We have invited chefs and food bloggers who will be showing how we can all make better choices with the food we buy to limit waste and support ethical farming. They will also show how to get more from the ingredients we buy and give new ideas on the role food plays in a happy, healthy life.

Having been introduced to WeFiFo by my husband, himself an ethical butcher, Jon and the team quickly offered to help spread the word about The Good Life. With the weather forecast showing bright sunshine, it promises to be a great weekend. As we speak, the Wellbeing Tipi is being put up for drop in yoga, mindfulness and Tai Chi, the cookery theatre is getting set up ready for a host of presentations and demonstrations and an army of craft makers, upcylcers and repairers are getting ready to welcome you.

Join us and book a ticket by clicking here.

Ilona Harris

Commercial Manager, Weald & Downland Living Museum
Find out more by clicking here.

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