ACTIVITIES, music, refreshments and the traditional burning of a wicker man will be enjoyed by visitors at the first-ever Beltane festival at local wildlife hotspot.

The ancient festival will take place at Greystones, Bourton-on-the-Water, on Saturday April 27. Entertainment will include Iron Age cooking workshops, Iron Age blacksmithing demonstrations, an exhibition of Iron Age hunting tools and equipment, weaving and spinning demonstrations, falconry, wattle and daub making, children’s maypole dancing, and live music performed by the band Brocc.

The festival will take place from 5pm to 9pm and people of all ages are welcome. The Greystones café will be open, serving drinks and snacks such as hot dogs, soup, hot chocolate and sweet treats. There will also be a licensed bar.

“Beltane is an ancient festival which marks the beginning of the summer. Traditionally bonfires were lit to nurture crops and to protect the community. As Greystones has a history stretching back 6,000 years, we are marking the coming of the new season with this exciting new event,” says Lenka Cmelakova, Visitor Centre Manager at Greystones.

Early-bird tickets are now on sale from adults £17, children (under 16) £12; there is no charge for children under the age of 3.

Greystones is a pioneering visitor centre run by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust offering a wide range of wildlife, history and farming activities throughout the year.

This has been made possible through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Grundon Waste Management, other supporters and dozens of volunteers.

The nature reserve is open to the public all year round, and features rare trees, ancient hedgerows, the river eye, and a lake teaming with wildlife. It is a site of special scientific interest for its wildflower meadows.

People have met, lived and farmed at Greystones continuously for thousands of years.