CANCELLED – Family River Float, Educational Activities, Car Boot, Craft Activities, River Talks & Walks 2020

Unfortunately, we have come to the decision to cancel the 2020 Five Rivers Festival event. Due to the current increase in the spread of Coronavirus disease, and growing uncertainty on mass gatherings, we feel it is in the everyone’s best interests to put this event on hold.

However, the Festival plans to be back in 2021 so watch this space! We will be posting details as soon as we can!

Sunday 24th May

We are delighted to link up the 2020 River Festival with both the International Arts Festival and the Cathedral 2020 celebrations.

The Family River Float is an ideal opportunity for families to float down a beautiful stretch of the River Avon from Mill Lane Bridge at Stratford-sub-Castle down to Ashley Green.

On Ashley Green, there will be lots of stands and River Education Activities run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust, Salisbury Wildlife Group and others. Activities include fly dipping, building a caddisfly, discovering the fish and insects found in our rivers, fly casting, and more!

There will be organised River Walks up the Boardwalk, one covering river conservation, ecology and habitat and the other covering the development of the Old Sarum site and landscape over the ages.

On Ashley Green, there will also be River Talks on how our five rivers have influenced the local area – individually focusing on the economic impact, the impact on human history and finally the impact on the formation of the site and landscape itself.

In addition, the Fire Station will be holding a special Car Boot Sale on the green offering a great chance to sell your unwanted possessions, or to pick up a bargain. There will also be a variety of Family Craft Activities  available to all, courtesy of the International Arts Festival.

A range of hot and cold refreshments will be available between 8am and 3pm as well as fair ground rides, Wessex Community Circus and even more activities for the kids.

What's on guide

Family River Float

The River Float is an opportunity for competent swimmers aged 8+ to float down a beautiful stretch of the River Avon from Mill Lane Bridge at Stratford-sub-Castle to Ashley Green.

After registering, we will take you and your inflatable up to the start by van. The Float itself takes about 60 minutes so you need to allow two hours in total from point of registration. Full river safety will be provided courtesy of the charity, Serve On, who are water rescue specialists.

You must reserve places for your group in advance as we are limited to 120 floating down the river in total.

Enjoy the often forgotten scenic river delights of Salisbury whilst travelling at your own speed. Take in all the sights and the sounds, and make the most of this fun family opportunity!

There are also plenty of viewing points along the Board Walk of the Avon Valley Nature Reserve for those who want to come and support and take photos.

River Walks

There will be two organised River Walks up the Boardwalk through the Avon Valley Nature Reserve, lasting 45 minutes each.

River Conservation, Ecology & Habitat

Formation of the Old Sarum Site & Landscape over 3 Millennia

River Talks

On Ashley Green, there will be three unique, 45 minute River Talks in our Talk Tent covering a variety of topics relating to the importance of Salisbury’s five rivers within the history of the local landscape.

Formation of the Old Sarum Site & Landscape over 3 Millennia

Economic Influence of our Five Rivers

Influence on Human History of our Five Rivers

River Educational Activities

On Ashley Green, there will be lots of stands and River Education Activities run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust, Salisbury Wildlife Group and others.

Hands-on activities include fly dipping, building a caddisfly, discovering the fish and insects found in our rivers, fly casting, and more!

Car Boot

Fancy grabbing yourself a bargain? Or perhaps you have some unwanted possessions at home you need to get rid of? This special Car Boot Sale, run by Salisbury Fire Station, will take place at Ashley Green (opposite the Fire Station). You can reserve a single or double pitch in advance to ensure you get a pitch. Set up is 8am for 9am start – finishing at 12 noon.

With the Family River Float, River Talks & Trails and International Arts Festival event all using Ashley Green, we are expecting a lot of footfall. So why not come and join us and make some money!

Family Fiesta Activities

The Salisbury International Arts Festival is running a number of free Family Activities on Ashley Green opposite Studio Theatre between 11am and 3pm. On the other side of the river bank, Wiltshire Creative’s Move It! Activity will also provide lots of unexpected experiences to discover.

For more information, please visit Wiltshire Creative.

Refreshments & Children’s Entertainment

There will be a range of hot and cold Refreshments served at Ashley Green between 8am and 3pm.

To further entertain the children, Wessex Community Circus will be there along with some funfair rides.