Cathy's Blog: Opportunities abound
Opportunities abound in our two Outstanding Landscapes, with a steady flow of activities to get involved in, throughout the school holidays and beyond.
Whether you live in, work in or are visiting the Essex/Suffolk Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) you can enjoy the fresh air and these wonderful locations, boost your wellbeing and learn something (we hope!), and feel inspired to care about the future of these places.
Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Education Network partners are holding family Nature Days at Flatford on Tuesdays 8 and 22 August. Take the opportunity to enjoy nature-based outdoor activities, from pond dipping to spoon carving to bird behaviour to arts & crafts. In Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, Sizewell is the place to be, for Beach Bonkers beach treasure hunt walks and Suffolk Wildlife Trust ‘Wild Beach’ seashore exploration. Learn more about our amazing shingle beaches – they are very special and home to many rare plants and nesting sea-birds.
Looking ahead, both AONBs will celebrate #OutstandingWeek 16 – 24 September – a time when all 46 members of the @AONBFamily will be highlighting the opportunities that our wonderful landscapes offer, from walks & talks to celebrating volunteer efforts & eating our way through lots of local produce (to support producers and the local economy you understand!). Let us know if you have an event during that week that we can promote.
Also on is The Munnings Art Museum’s first painting festival, Friday 8 & Saturday 9 September for artists, art and poetry lovers, walkers and landscape enthusiasts www.munningsmuseum.org.uk. In Suffolk Coast & Heaths two key events are the Great British Beach Clean, held between 15 to 18 September, and the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, 23 – 24 September, with the Fringe Festival extending to the 8 October. The Great British Beach Clean, coordinated locally by the AONB, is the national Marine Conservation Society event to record what is currently polluting our marine waters.
You could be a bit more active? Join the Stour Valley Volunteers, or ‘bash’ a bit of Himalayan Balsam, a non-native species that spreads too effectively especially along waterways. Opportunities to feel alive and thrive in the AONBs!
First published in the East Anglian Daily Times August 2017