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Walking & Arts Festival explores area’s hidden gems

18 May Walking & Arts Festival explores area’s hidden gems

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is ready to get people out and about over the Bank Holiday and half term with its Tales of the Fanns Walking & Arts Festival. All walk routes are now confirmed and waiting to be booked.

Over two weeks between 22 May and 6 June, experienced walk leaders and the Land of the Fanns team will run twelve free walks taking in each area of the Scheme: Havering, Brentwood, Thurrock, Barking & Dagenham and Essex. The walks range from circular or linear, family-friendly or adult, easy or more taxing and showcase just what an amazing variety of landscapes and places of interest is to be found in this landscape.

The walk routes, dates and times are:
Saturday 22 May 10.30am Thames Chase Forest Centre and Broadfields Farm
Sunday 23 May 10.00am Thorndon Country Park
Wednesday 26 May 11.30am Davy Down to Bulphan
Friday 28 May 10.30am Grays to Graffiti Wall, Purfleet-on-Thames
Saturday 29 May time tbc Rainham to Purfleet-on-Thames
Sunday 30 May 10.00am Pages Wood
Monday 31 May 10.30am West Thurrock Gorges
Thursday 3 June 10.30am Eastbrookend Country Park
Friday 4 June 10.30am Bedfords Park and Walled Garden
Friday 4 June 2.00pm Dagnam Park
Saturday 5 June 10.30am Little Belhus Country Park
Sunday 6 June 11.00am-1.00pm or 2.00pm-4.00pm Langdon Hills Country Park

The Tales of the Fanns festival is a celebration of the project begun in 2019 with arts organisation Kinetika. The project gathered 100 stories from people living in the Land of the Fanns and with those people, turned those stories into illustrations to adorn 100 silk flags. The flags together with costumes made by artist Jackie Creasey, and students from University Centre South Essex and a series of short films about special areas in the Land of the Fanns, produced by Rosa Productions and the local communities, will play a part in the walks and at the special finale event on Sunday 6 June at Langdon Hills Country Park.

Benjamin Sanderson, Scheme Manager, Land of the Fanns said “This should be a great opportunity to get out and about in the wonderful countryside of the Land of the Fanns, see stories brought to life and join in with some fun activities. Fingers crossed for good weather!

The walks are free but must be booked. Booking is through Eventbrite, Activities at the walks include making bird feeders, mask making from natural materials, storytelling, family yoga, and looking forward and thinking about hopes and wishes for the future. All activities are free.

The Land of the Fanns is the unique £2.4 million Landscape Partnership Scheme, awarded £1.36 million by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The five-year Scheme brings together nine partner organisations with a commitment to work towards a shared goal of enabling local people to discover, restore and enjoy what’s special about the local landscape. Thames Chase Trust is the lead partner. The other partners are: Forestry England, Thames Estuary Partnership, Thames21, Thurrock Council, Brentwood Borough Council, Essex County Council, London Boroughs of Havering. and Barking & Dagenham.