The Stratford Literary Festival has joined forces with retirement community company, Inspired Villages, to curate a programme of events throughout the summer in the woodland setting of Great Alne Park near Stratford.

Great Alne Park, one of the company’s newest villages, boasts a natural amphitheatre in its grounds, a great location for events involving spoken word and music.

The programme kicks off on Midsummer’s Day, 20 June, with Live Well: Health, Happiness, Hobbies – a full day of activities exploring how to make the most of your golden years. The day will include events around health, sleep, hobbies, and looking good in older age, delivered by experts. Speakers featured will be Professor Alice Gregory, specialist in the science of sleep and author of Nodding Off; Maggy Piggot, author of How To Grow Old Joyfully; Stuart Turner, editor of the Haynes manual on retirement; Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders, founders of the Age Well Project; and style guru, Fiona Ingham.

Attendees can also meet artists and workshop tutors to get ideas for leisure-time hobbies, try out Motionhouse’s Dance Fit for 60s+ workshop, and get the chance to sing in a scratch choir – with singing long being recognized for having a beneficial impact on well-being.

The event will also include storytelling for children, food and drink stalls, a bar, a pop-up bookshop, and music from the famous 28-piece Jaguar Land Rover Brass Band. It will round off with an evening picnic and music from The Simon Kemp Orchestra and Choir.

Festival director, Annie Ashworth, said: “This is arguably the first time that a whole programme of events exploring how to make the very best of getting older has taken place in one day, and we are very excited to be part of it.”

Inspired Villages arts and culture director, David Hamblett, added: “We are delighted to be launching the Amphitheatre at Great Alne Park with the Stratford Literary Festival. It is the perfect location for outdoor events that the whole family can enjoy.”

Other co-curated events include a debate on 16 July on the future of the monarchy. Speakers include Robert Hardman, Daily Mail Royal correspondent, and Alexander Larman, author of The Crown in Crisis.

A celebration of words and music will take place on 22 August with the artist and children’s illustrator, James Mayhew, painting to music performed by members of the internationally renowned Coull Quartet. In the evening, the Quartet will be part of a concert of Mozart and Mendelssohn with readings, with audiences able to enjoy a Pimms’ and a picnic in the amphitheatre.

September brings a day celebrating local produce and flowers, with a farmers’ market, and the opportunity to find out about seasonal gardening with a gardeners’ question time event featuring the BBC gardening expert, Pippa Greenwood. The flamboyant florist, Simon Lycett, famous for his spectacular designs at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be sharing some of the gossip from his celebrity commissions, and demonstrating his floral skills.