People in the Wye Valley are getting creative ahead of the return of a popular festival.

Community groups are producing unique art pieces that range from screen printed banners to collective performance components for the upcoming Wye Valley River Festival.

The open-access event, now in its 10th year, showcases the arts and environment whilst drawing audiences into the local landscape.

Kicking off on Friday, May 3, the 2024 festival will host a variety of vibrant shows, workshops, performances, installations and films.

Locations from Hereford to Chepstow will get involved until the event concludes on Sunday, May 12.

Responding to public demand, the organisers have created year-round opportunities to get engaged with the festival, following the successful community activities held before the 2022 festival.

Three local artists have functioned as "creative community champions" since the beginning of the year, producing work focusing on local environmental issues.

The upcoming festival finds its inspiration in "the earth beneath our feet".

The groups are coordinating a range of creative responses related to the ecological theme.

Olivia Preye has been leading the songwriting scheme The Cosmos Within Us, with the Mothers In All Weathers Choir, while Artspace Cinderford focuses its efforts on food-related stories.

South Wales Argus: Mothers in All Weathers Choir rehearsingMothers in All Weathers Choir rehearsing (Image: Wye Valley River Festival)

Printmaker Nichola Goff has run a workshop series called FABRIC, resulting in a cloth portraying the crucial role of earth in our lives.

Queering The Wye, another initiative by the festival, has facilitated LGBTQ+ youth sessions since September, with an environmental and craft activist focus.

Artistic director Phillippa Haynes said: "The Wye Valley River Festival continues to generate engaging ways for the local community to work alongside amazing artists to be entertained, moved and inspired by the region’s environment, with the 2024 programme promising to be as strong as ever.

"It is fantastic to see such a cross-section of people get involved to try new ways of making art, connect with one another and most importantly enjoy their interactions.

"We are delighted with the work being produced, which will have an important role in the festival."

The festival, a partnership developed by the Wye Valley AONB, is supported by various funding sources including UK Community Renewal Fund, Arts Councils England and Wales, the Sustainable Development Fund and the Welsh Government.

The majority of the events will be free and ticketless. More details can be found at the Wye Valley River Festival website.