Cley Marshes: Richard Osbourne

Cley Marshes' winter festival is going green

Monday 16 September, 2019

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has released the line-up for winter festival Cley Calling! Footprints to reveal an eco-conscious twist. Focusing on our role as caretakers of our precious planet, 5 – 8 December will see NWT Cley and Salthouse Marshes bustling with a range of events exploring sustainability, going plastic-free and how to live more harmoniously with nature.
The weekend will welcome Will McCallum, Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, for a guided afternoon walk on the North Norfolk Coast’s stunning shoreline, followed by a talk on ocean conservation. Following his recent book: How to Give up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World One Plastic Bottle at a Time, and having worked with governments and companies to reduce their plastic output, McCallum is the ultimate advisor to have speaking at NWT’s greener festival.
He says: “I’m thrilled to be joining Norfolk Wildlife Trust at the winter festival. The movement to end plastic pollution has put the health of our oceans on the public and political agenda like never before and it’s fantastic to see so much interest from people wanting to take action in their own lives on this crucial issue.”
McCallum will be joined in the evening as a panellist in a lively and topical discussion around how we as individuals can reduce our impact on the environment. Chaired by NWT’s Nick Acheson, the other panellists are Conservation Scientist and founder of local Extinction Rebellion group, Charlie Gardner; Norfolk Country Council Sustainability Manager, Dominic Allen; Head of Conservation at Holkham Estate, Jake Fiennes and NWT Chief Executive, Pamela Abbott.
Taking our impact on the natural world as inspiration, Cley Calling! Footprints is a festival of walking and workshops, talks, art, music and performance. As NWT’s biggest and longest established reserve, NWT Cley and Salthouse Marshes is the perfect place to celebrate winter wildlife and the world we live in. In December, there will be the chance for sightings of pink-footed geese and marsh harriers, perhaps even otters. Visitors can learn more about the non-human inhabitants of Cley with a guided circuit of the reserve on the Friday, or a ramble followed by a roast in the café on the Sunday.
On the Saturday there will be a Green Fayre, with businesses such as Norfolk Handmade Soaps and Love Spoons Jewellery selling eco-conscious and sustainable wares. Following in the evening will be mulled wine and mince pies, with a performance by the Norfolk Broads in the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, back by popular demand. A young female quartet, they sing traditional folk songs from Britain and America, reimagining strongly narrative pieces into soaring four-part harmonies.
Other events incorporate recycling themes, with a Home Composting workshop on Friday, and a Scrapbox Challenge on the Sunday. The making continues with festive fun, as visitors can book themselves onto a workshop in which they can weave and decorate a willow Christmas tree and reindeer, or to create edible tree decorations.
Cley Calling! is a bi-annual festival held by Norfolk Wildlife Trust at Cley and Salthouse Marshes, and is in its fourth year. For the complete programme of events and booking information visit or ring the visitor centre on 01263 740008.
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