Cathy's Blog - End of Year

The last few weeks have been full of lots of tidy-up jobs and bits and pieces of preparation… and I don’t just mean at home getting ready for the celebrations of the season!

My AONB team colleagues Alex, Charlotte, Emma, Holly and Neil, and our many volunteers across both the Dedham Vale & Stour Valley and Suffolk Coast & Heaths, have been out in all the different ‘weather’ conditions we’ve had over the last few weeks – and I think we’ve had them all! They have been getting on with that most winter of jobs… tree and hedge planting, plus some clearing of scrub and coppicing too. This work will start to reap benefits in Spring plus provide improvements for the land and wildlife across our outstanding landscapes for a long time.

I just had an ‘outstanding’ walk in the Dedham Vale on one of those bright, crisp days that really help to clear the head. The extra and usually quite low light we have at this time of year shines through leafless trees, albeit squeezed into a shorter day, and really give a different perspective to the landscape. You can see the outlines of trees and the curves of the land, plus have some fun with the shapes the longer shadows cast.

I hope you all get to enjoy a breath of fresh air and a stretch of the legs over the holidays. If you need a little inspiration for places to walk, in either AONB, please just go to the Publications pages of the AONB websites for lots of free-to-download walking guides. If you need more ideas or would prefer to join a guided walk, the local Rambler groups are running their #FestivalofWinterWalks now. Whatever place you choose for your break from food and festivities – the ‘famous’ Boxing Day Walk especially – have a good time, either peacefully or with friends and family, and make sure you look around you!

A walk or cycle ride is also a good time to do your end-of year reflection. Think about the people you know, recall successes, and be philosophical about the things that could have gone better. And look forward to more success in 2018. May a good year await us all!

First published in the East Anglian Daily Times on 23 December 2017

By Cathy Smith on July 12th, 2018

Landscapes for life link image