Shotley Open Spaces

We have an monthly update from the lovely people at Shotley Open Spaces:

It is great to be able to continue some of our maintenance work on local pathways, always, of course, aware of potential nesting sites in the undergrowth. We take our steer from the Ramblers Society and Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB team, and the go ahead was given for volunteer working parties starting from 28 March. The proviso is that we do a Covid Risk Assessment and continue to work safe with appropriate PPE.

Health Walks continue with pre-registration on the Onelife Suffolk website. This month’s walk is on Wednesday 19 May starting at 11.30am from Shotley Village Hall. The title ‘Health Walks’ is changing, and very soon they will be known as ‘Wellbeing Walks’. The title is changing nationally to reflect the all-round benefit of walking for both mental and physical improvements.

Our Walkers are Welcome friends in Claire Country Park are ahead of the game with this and their park walks have been extremely successful in attracting a broad cross section of people with all manner of capabilities, not just good strong walkers.

This month is the very first (and please let it be the last!) virtual Suffolk Walking Festival. As you know, the festival had to be cancelled for the second successive year. However, in the absence of an actual event, the Suffolk Walking Festival team have been working very hard to bring the event online. Walks can be done safely in small groups so the virtual festival is packed full of activities throughout Suffolk that can enjoyed by all the family.

Take a look at the Suffolk Walking Festival website, which showcases events taking place from 22 May right up to 31 May. We do our bit for Shotley with four walking leaflets available to view and download. However, why not go elsewhere in Suffolk and enjoy the stunning walks, all free of charge? We can return to our favourite local pub on the peninsula and round off the day with a well-earned meal and drink while we plan for the next festival event.

Finally, you may have heard of another Suffolk event during June and July which combines walking with art. The ‘Beach of Dreams’ project is a 500 mile walk from Lowestoft to Tilbury, starting on the 26 June and ending on 1 August. The project (organised by internationally renowned company ‘Kinetica’) has asked anyone to choose a mile on this coastal route, submit an image of the landscape, a drawing and words about their connection to the mile, and their dream for the future.

We have chosen four one-mile sections leading from the River Orwell into Shotley Marina, through Shotley Gate and on to Erwarton Bay. Our mile walks will be done on 5 and 6 July, accompanied by the Kinetica’s Artistic Director, Ali Pretty, and The Guardian journalist, Kevin Rushby.

It’s an amazly ambitious project that focusses on current environmental challenges of our time. More about this project next month, although there is much more information on the ‘Beach of Dreams’ website. We thought it would be a good thing to be involved with, and another opportunity to get Shotley ‘on the map’.

If you want more information about the work of Shotley Open Spaces visit our website or contact Geraint Pugh ([email protected]), Gary Richens ([email protected]) or Tony Lawford-Randall ([email protected]).

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