We are pleased to announce the launch of Abbey Alive! – An annual natural history and living history activity day in and around the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, this year taking place on 20th May.
An opportunity for school groups and the public to explore the past life and the wildlife at the Abbey of St Edmund with a series of interactive walks, talks, trails, entertainment and a BioBlitz survey with local environmental and historical organisations, experts and enthusiasts.
There will be stalls representing local educational and historical organisations and charities, interactive activities and trails around the site, guided walks and talks from historians, authors and ecologists. There will be children’s activities including storytelling, face-painting, a pop-up museum with artifact handling, craft activities and a collaborative community art project.
Following on from a very successful inaugural BioBlitz event held in 2022 and, listening to the feedback from the public from that event, we (The Hive – West Suffolk Family Outdoor EcoCentre and Bury Water Meadows Group) felt that there should be an annual event celebrating the variety of species living in the centre of Bury St Edmunds. The guided walks and surveying were inadvertently linked to the heritage of the site and it was felt that this aspect of the educational value of the event ought to be expanded. There is often a disconnect between nature and architecture but the two are closely entwined, and visibly so in this particular site, where there are rich habitats in the ruins of the Abbey, in the churchyard, and in the surrounding meadows. The history of the site also tells us that the monks used the land in a more sustainable way than we do now, and highlighting this to the local community will increase their connection between the environment and the heritage of the site.
The event will bring together a broad range of the community, including volunteers from all the organisations involved, local schools and their pupils and staff, families and members of the public, and a variety of local charities and not-for-profit organisations. There will be an emphasis on education, with access to local experts and authorities of their fields. We will include aspects of literature, culture, farming and food production, ecology and biodiversity, as well as having access to scientific equipment such as microscopes to enhance their experience.
Details for talks and guided walks and exhibitors coming soon!
Booking for talks and walks will open in April 2023
If you would like your organisation to be involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org