Cathy's Blog: Finding Treasures in Natural Places!

This week, making the most of the warmer, less windy weather, I set off with some friends to visit the treasure that is Hazelwood Marshes, near Aldeburgh. Seeing it full of water was a wonderful surprise, and on such a still, hazy day the light on the water was simply gorgeous. We made the most of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust bird hide to watch and hear masses of birdlife. But why oh why do people walk their dogs past at least two signs saying ‘no dogs on the reserve please’? March is the start of nesting time for birds and although very few places request ‘no dogs’ it is however time to keep dogs on the lead when you are outdoors. Please!

Hazelwood Marshes reopened last summer after the tidal surge in Dec 2013 broke the river wall and the area has now had a chance to renew itself as a saline wonderland. I urge you to make a visit – the reserve is just a stroll along the Sailors Path. In fact, one of the last times I visited was when the AONB Touching the Tide HLF project was doing its archaeological dig on Barbers Point – Saxon treasures found then and natural treasures found today!

I’m usually office-based so when I get a chance to be out for work I make the most of it! I recently made a visit to the Dedham Vale Vineyard – a treasure tucked away in the Stour Valley – who hosted a meeting of the Stour Valley Tourism Action Group. We were treated to an introduction of what visitors can expect to do there, apart from enjoying the wine, such as trails through woodland, around lakes and wildflower meadows. They like many others are producing their events programmes, including special Easter activities, and getting ready to welcome visitors from Easter onwards.

I also had the privilege of visiting the Sir Alfred Munnings Museum in Dedham for a sneak preview of the exhibition of ‘Munnings and the River’ – it opens to the public on 1 April (no joke!) and is full of little seen paintings celebrating the River Stour. Another treasure to add to your list to visit!

First published in the East Anglian Daily Times February 2017

By Cathy Smith on October 20th, 2017

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