ANNUAL MEETING – July 22nd
LIBRARY EXHIBITION – July 18th to 22nd
BRING AND BUY PLANT SALE – May 19th – to support the Green and Halesworth Library
WINTERLIGHT! FESTIVAL – February 17th
What do you get if you stir together lots of enthusiastic lantern-makers at Halesworth Library plus the Oxblood Mollies plus a very dim-witted Fire-chicken plus an illuminated six-foot Owl – 20 feet up in the air? You get the third annual WinterLight! mini-Festival on Halesworth Millennium Green. One hundred and twenty people enjoyed the Mollies dancing, the lanterns and the newly-discovered ancient Tale of the Howl of Alesworth (? think about it). If you missed WinterLight! you’ll be able to see the Owl in the Library window in the next week or so, and if you didn’t miss WinterLight! you’ll have a chance to see her much closer up than you did on the Green, where she was high in the air. And just wait until after dark ….
SHARING EXPERIENCE WITH YOUNG NATURE CONSERVATIONISTS FROM TURKEY – February 21st
PHOTO Names l to r: Dan Bradbury (WLT), Ozlem Parlar, Muge Ocal, Sevgi Kaynar (NATURA), Sal Jenkinson (Millennium Green), Okan Urkur (NATURA), Charlotte Beckham & Jesse Timberlake (WLT) at the entrance to Arthur’s Wood.
The Green and the World Land Trust have worked together on many things, and in February the Green was delighted to be included in a visit to Suffolk by some pioneering conservationists from Turkey (NATURA) whom WLT have been hosting. The NATURA campaign is to prevent further loss of precious and antique Oriental Sweetgum forest (Liquidambar orientalis) which can be found only in southwestern Turkey, and on Rhodes and Cyprus. In the last 70 years the area of this unique forest has shrunk by two-thirds (from over 6000ha to under 2000ha) as a result of urban and agricultural encroachment, and is close to being unsustainable.
These young volunteers who have done serious scientific background work are mounting a campaign to reconnect dispersed segments of the remaining forests by planting connecting corridors. They aim to increase the total amount to a much more sustainable 2500ha. Getting the local people behind this campaign will be hard because of the apparent conflicts with urban and agricultural needs, and setting up the organisation to deliver the project will be a challenge all in itself because there are no precedents in Turkey of land management for the environment by bodies other than government. So on one day in February these representatives of NATURA visited Minsmere (possibly the largest non-governmental conservation charity in Britain with an army of paid staff and substantial premises) and Halesworth Millennium Green (one of the smallest, with no paid staff and to date nothing more than a garage for tool storage! ) As well as the question of how to organise, engagement with the public is enormously challenging for NATURA and we were glad to share our experience of working with local people, from those who do the land management to those who support the Green with funding or sheer enthusiasm. We wish NATURA and WLT well.
WINTERLIGHT! FESTIVAL – February 12th
The last wherry to use the New Reach as a commercial waterway was Fred Lambert’s Star, in the early 1900s. More than 100 years later at the WinterLight! Festival in February in 2017 we saluted his memory and raised a 30 foot mast on the willow wherry to celebrate the days when these HGVs of water transport would have sailed between the meadows and right into Halesworth. More than 70 people,
including many children who had made lanterns at the Library’s afternoon workshop,
made a lantern-lit evening procession led by the Oxblood Mollies from the Library to the Green.
White Bridge twinkled as never before, a bright blue star was hoisted on the mast,
and finally the ghost of the Green made his appearance biking down to his wherry – as many wherrymen did, morning and evening, to begin and finish their day’s work.
BRING AND BUY PLANT SALE – May 27th – to support the Green and Halesworth Library
We talked to at least 5 people who knew nothing about the Green previously, we consolidated our good links with the Library, and we raised £200 which we split with the Library. And, thanks to the weather, I think we even enjoyed the morning!
ANNUAL MEETING – July 2nd
The Green was glad to take part in Halesworth in Bloom’s celebrations of the town’s very own top scientist, Joseph Dalton Hooker born 200 years ago and recognised as having made a crucial contribution to the development of natural science. At the same time, we ran a 5-day exhibition about the Green in the Library setting out events of the last year and inviting people to comment and suggest how the Green might contribute to the enjoyment of local people over the coming year.