A student from the University of Cumbria who is working to improve the sustainability of the Kendal Mountain Festival is to present and interview a BBC One Show presenter who’s campaigning to highlight plastic pollution.
Seónaid Lafferty’s three year-long PhD has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund and her work is examining the influence and impact the festival has on people and the environment.
One Show presenter Lucy Siegle will be appearing at this year’s event on Saturday.
“Given that the subject of my work is sustainability, it was an ideal opportunity to work with Lucy,” Seónaid said. “Without doubt the awareness of how commonplace plastics are has grown significantly in recent years and broadcasters like Lucy have worked hard to highlight the issue. The question now is how to persuade more of us to change our habits and for manufacturers to listen to a demand to use less unstainable packaging processes. Hopefully events like this will help stoke that debate.”
Seónaid has had a busy first year working to establish baseline behaviour of the Festival and their stakeholders. This has included working together with the Festival to refine their organisational values, and in an academic context to analyse the plethora of sustainability frameworks already out there.
Seónaid added; “The Festival want to embed their values in everything from their decisions and conversations, to partnerships and content. We’ve used data collected during Kendal Mountain Festival 2017 to add weight to influence, and start driving behavioural change.”
The Kendal Mountain Festival team hope to design a range of tools which will be used to measure the organisation’s social and environmental impacts, and ensures the longevity of the festival for future generations to enjoy.
The results of the PhD will be shared with other festivals, brands, speakers and towns that deliver festivals. Helping to create best practice in festival hosting and development, both from an immediate environmental impact perspective and future sustainably focussed initiatives.
Pictured: Seónaid Lafferty