New Countryside Code launched to help people enjoy the outdoors

The new Code allows people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.

A new, refreshed Countryside Code has been launched today by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the creation of the founding booklet.

With more people enjoying the outdoors than ever before, the code has been revised to help people enjoy countryside in a safe and respectful way.

The first Countryside Code booklet was published in 1951. This update – the first in over a decade – has been shaped by nearly 4,000 stakeholder responses to an online survey, which sought views on best practices for visiting the countryside and protecting the natural environment and saw a huge response.

Changes include advice on creating a welcoming environment, for example by saying hello to fellow visitors; clearer rules to underline the importance of clearing away dog poo; staying on footpaths; and not feeding livestock. It also provides advice on how to seek permissions for activities such as wild swimming.

Key changes to the Countryside Code include:

New advice for people to ‘be nice, say hello, share the space’ as well as ‘enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory’.

A reminder not to feed livestock, horses or wild animals.

To stay on marked footpaths, even if they are muddy, to protect crops and wildlife.

Information on permissions to do certain outdoor activities, such as wild swimming.

Clearer rules for dog walkers to take home dog poo and use their own bin if a there are no public waste bins.

A refreshed tone of voice, creating a guide for the public rather than a list of rules – recognising the significant health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature.

New wording to make clear that the code applies to all our natural places, including parks and waterways, coast and countryside.

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said:
The Countryside Code has been providing an excellent guide for people on how to get out and enjoy the outdoors safely for over 70 years.

With more people than ever before seeking solace in nature, this refresh could not come at a more crucial time. We want everyone to be aware of the Code, so people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy the invaluable health and wellbeing benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.

Rural Affairs Minister Lord Gardiner said:
With so many people visiting the countryside, the Countryside Code has never felt more relevant. Crucially it now covers all green spaces, waterways, the coast and even parks in towns and cities, so that everyone, as we lift restrictions, can enjoy a greener future.

I’d like to thank Natural England and all the many stakeholders who helped shape this updated version. It is an excellent guide and I urge visitors to nature – old and new – to follow its advice.

Ahead of the Easter weekend and the easing of some lockdown restrictions it is expected to be bumper period for visitors to the countryside. In the summer of 2020, the Countryside Code was updated to respond to issues that were being raised during lockdown, such as an increase in littering and sheep worrying by dogs. Today’s refresh aims to help everyone enjoy parks and open spaces in a safe way, whilst encouraging them to look after our natural environments and the livelihoods of those who work there.

The pandemic has changed people’s relationships with nature. Evidence from Natural England shows the importance of nature to people’s health and wellbeing, with 85% of people surveyed saying that being in nature makes them happy.

Natural England’s People and Nature survey findings however show some groups have been able to spend more time in nature than others. Promotion of the refreshed Code will aim to tackle those inequalities and encourage more inclusive access to nature for minority communities and those with diverse physical and sensory needs. This will be done via targeted stakeholder and media promotion, and through partnership work such as Natural England’s work with the Mosaic Charity to encourage people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to access the Peak District National Park, and the recently announced green social prescribing sites.

As part of this announcement, Natural England are also setting up a long-term Countryside Code campaign to increase awareness of the Code through 2021 and beyond. The campaign will focus on encouraging behavioural change amongst public audiences to act responsibly when visiting outdoors, by respecting those who manage the land and adhering to the Code.

The updated Countryside Code can be viewed here.

 

(Published by www.gov.uk 1st April 2021)

New seafront heritage trail to celebrate Clacton’s 150th anniversary

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) are funding a seafront heritage trail in Tendring from Jaywick Sands to Holland Haven but also incorporating Clacton town centre to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Clacton-on-Sea.

Public footpath Lawford

The trail will cover over 5 miles of beautiful coastline and engage with local schools, elder care settings and wider community to be active and promote health and wellbeing whilst learning the local history, it will also include new technology to help bring this to life. This will be a fun and engaging way to convey Clacton’s story.

Geocaching - www.geocaching.com

Listening benches and audio posts will also be added to join and connect individuals with the stories of Clacton through the years.
Bench in gravel garden at Beth Chatto Gardens

There are many other projects linked with the trail and celebratory events are being planned for later in the year.

Clacton 150
Clacton 150

Local beaches with dog bans

Use the map link below to see the beach areas in Tendring that have a dog ban in force.  The bans apply from 1 May to 30 September inclusive.

Click the link for map including beaches and dog bans.

Dogs are permitted on adjacent promenades and cliff paths, but must be on a lead.

Dogs are allowed on all other beaches at all times but they must be kept under proper control and you must clear up after your dog.

To report an incidence of dog fouling on Tendring’s beaches, please complete our online Report it form.

Imposing a dog ban is an important criteria in the annual Coast Awards and Blue Flag schemes.

The beaches with seasonal bans are covered by local Byelaws. These are enforced by our Seafront team. Each banned area is very clearly identified by information signs at every entry point.

Failing to comply with beach bans and control orders could result in a maximum penalty of £500.

Remember the laws for cleaning up after your dog are in force all over the Tendring District.

Royal Life Saving Society’s (RLSS) water safety top tips

Royal Life Saving Society’s (RLSS) water safety top tips:

 

  • When arriving at the destination if you haven’t yet done so, check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the beach
  • Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean
  • Make sure the whole family can swim
  • Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
  • Never swim alone
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
  • Check when the tide will be high and low to ensure that you will not be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide
  • Be aware of dangerous rip-currents
  • Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water
  • Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
  • Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore

For more information on Tendring’s seafronts and beaches log on to www.tendringdc.gov.uk

Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) www.rlss.org.uk 

 

Clacton Pier launched bid to keep plastic waste out of the sea

Clacton Pier said a new push is being made to recycle plastics at Clacton Pier.  The landmark attraction already has its glass, cardboard and paper collected but is now looking to include as much of its plastic waste as possible.

The pier has contacted contractors SCS to arrange for a mixed collection to be introduced ready for re-opening after lockdown.  Extra wheelie bins will be brought in to take the plastic waste.

Managing director Billy Ball said that staff will be encouraged to support the initiative in all areas in an effort to be more environmentally-conscious.  “There is a huge drive internationally to keep our oceans clean – and rightly so – and we want to be a part of that,” said Mr Ball.

“We as a business work right over the North Sea and we have our Seaquarium where we promote such issues and educate youngsters about saving the wildlife below us.

“We all enjoy and benefit from the natural world around us and we all need to play a role in preserving it for future generations.”

Mr Ball said the push on recycling plastics was an idea which came from staff and he was pleased to back it all the way.

“Our plastic recycling has been minimal up to now but that will change in a bid to get greener and cleaner,” he added.

“I would urge all businesses in Clacton and Tendring to look at what they can do. Some are already stepping up to the plate and Tendring Council has led the way by greatly increasing its own environmental credentials in recent years.

“We have kilometres of beautiful, recharged beaches thanks to the £30million plus sea defence scheme which was undertaken by the Council and real improvements are being made to benefit residents and visitors alike.”

 

Story by Clacton and Frinton Gazette 08/03/2021.

Harwich’s Mayflower 400 has been named as one of 2021’s highlights

Harwich Mayflower Trail
Harwich Mayflower Trail

 

Harwich’s Mayflower 400 has been named as 2021’s highlights by a new campaign to boost tourism on the East coast following Covid-19.

The campaign is being run by England’s Coast, an new tourism initiative which includes Visit England, P&O and tourism groups from around the country.

It has highlighted a number of tourism opportunities this year, including exploring Harwich during the Mayflower 400 celebrations, which were postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

The campaign said: “2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims setting sail from Plymouth to cross the Atlantic to reach the New World – America.  The port of Harwich played a key role in the story, It’s where the Mayflower was built by the Pilgrim Fathers, and where its captain, Christopher Jones, lived and was twice wed”.

“Visitors can explore the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre and its workshop, where a full-scale shore-based replica of the famous ship is being built”.

“It’s a town full of maritime history – visitors can also enjoy Harwich’s fascinating Maritime Heritage Trail, starting at the Low Lighthouse Museum on the Quay, taking in the Redoubt Fort, built in 1808 to protect the harbour from a Napoleonic invasion, and ending at the Barge Murals, overlooking the site where iconic Thames Sailing Barges were built until 1930.”

A 1km-long visitor trail exploring Harwich’s links to the Mayflower opened in September to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the vessel’s historic voyage and Christopher Jones’ House has been opened as an attraction, along with a new visitor centre at Esplanade Hall, which is due to open in the spring.

The initiative is also promoting ‘the east coast seafood trail’, offering some of the world’s finest seafood.  It said: “On idyllic Mersea Island, fresh native oysters have been bred since Roman times.  Leigh-on-Sea is full of character and charm, home to the famous cockle sheds as well as plentiful pubs in which to enjoy this local delicacy”.

The campaign has also highlighted Suffolk’s Sutton Hoo, the site of the new Netflix period drama The Dig, where a 7th century Anglo-Saxon king’s ship burial was uncovered in 1939.

Samantha Richardson, director of the National Coastal Tourism Academy, which delivers the Discover England-funded England’s Coast project, said:  “Essex alone offers 350 miles of coastline.  You can head to art galleries at the Naze Tower or Southend-on-Sea, escape the urban hustle at Thorpe Bay, with its water sports to enjoy, and tuck into fantastic seafood on Mersea Island.  If you don’t know the east coast, this is the year to explore and discover.”

England’s Coast said it advises visitors to adhere to the national lockdown and plan their travels after lockdown, when it is safe to do so.

To find out more about what’s on offer along with guides and walking routes, go to www.englandscoast.com/en.

(Information taken from the Clacton Gazette 03/02/2021).

 

Open Water Swimmers & Cold Water Dippers 

How to enjoy the open water safely:
When you’re ready to try the open water, follow these tips from Nick Fecher, Water Safety Delivery Support at the RNLI: ‘It’s important to remember that things can go wrong in the water at any time of year. Average Irish and UK sea temperatures are just 12°C and rivers are colder – even in the summer. If you’re going in during the colder months or for extended periods, wear a wetsuit of appropriate thickness.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, adds: ‘Always swim under close supervision, like a lifeguarded beach between the red and yellow flags – or at least with a group of regular sea swimmers. Tell someone on land where you’re going and what you are doing. Always swim with a tow float, a bright swimming cap, suitable swim wear, your mobile phone in a waterproof pouch, and make sure you acclimatise to cold water slowly as this will reduce the risk of cold water shock. Always swim parallel to the shore and if you feel cold and start to shiver, get out of the water and warm yourself up’.

If you’re at the coast and there’s an emergency, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. If you’re inland, call the relevant emergency service.

RNLI top safety tips:
Never swim alone. The safest way to wild swim is at an Open Water swimming site, with a club or between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach. If you can’t get to a lifeguarded beach, learn more about your chosen location and check hazard signage by finding an organised swim group in your local community.

Acclimatise to cold water slowly and enter gradually to reduce the risk of cold water shock.

Check weather and tide times before you go, avoid swimming in dangerous conditions.

Take a means for calling for help in a waterproof phone pouch and have this on you at all times.

Wear a brightly coloured hat plus a tow float for increased visibility.

Always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out. Cold water, waves and currents can tire you out quickly and make it harder to return to shore.

Never swim under the influence of alcohol.

Be prepared, Always be seen , Acclimatise slowly , Stay within your depths , Float to live  Call 999 or 112  for the Coastguard in an emergency.

For more water safety information please visit RNLI.Org/Safety.

Clacton Pier set for a cracking Christmas as lockdown set to end

Bosses at the landmark said a programme of work has continued during the second lockdown to ensure that the festive activities will be better than ever – with hundreds of new decorations, a purpose-built Santa’s grotto, and animatronic characters.

A life-size singing reindeer will be part of the attractions, helping to raise extra funds for the NHS.

Pier director Billy Ball said that every effort has been made to create a very special North Pole experience at the landmark.

“This year has been very difficult for so many people and we want families to be able to enjoy some festive fun with us.”

“We have built a completely new area for Santa with his Reindeer stables as well as new characters such as Frosty the Snowman. Our rides will also be open for the first time ever over Christmas, except for the big day itself.”

Mr Ball added that the pier is already raising money for the NHS with a dedicated machine in the amusement arcade.

On top of that customers will have the chance to make a donation when they press the button to activate the singing reindeer.

Mr Ball added that all necessary Covid measures are being taken to create a safe environment, provided the pier gets the green light to re-open on December 2.

Santa’s grotto will then open from December 2 to 24 and there is a special deal at weekends and in the school holiday between December 5 and January 3.

The Mayflower: 400th Anniversary Special

Join TV historian Dan Snow for an online documentary marking exactly 400 years to the day since the Mayflower set sail by watching below.

‘The Mayflower: 400th Anniversary Special’ History Hit Live digital programme reflects the story of the colonists, the impact their arrival had on the Native American people who helped them, and the wider colonial context of this journey.

It also includes a look at some of the cultural projects involved in the commemorative year.

This online documentary is part of a series of key events within the Mayflower 400 event and culture programme that culminates with a Four Nations Commemoration Ceremony involving the USA, Netherlands, UK and Wampanoag nations on July 11 next year.

The anniversary programme will importantly involve representatives from the Wampanoag nation who will tell their side of this story in their own words for the first time having been censored or not included in previous anniversaries.

Clacton anniversary celebrations receive £250k funding

Commemorations are being planned to mark Clacton’s 150th anniversary.

The year 1871 is seen as the founding of modern Clacton when a group of businessmen built the Pier and Royal Hotel to spark the creation of a new holidaymaker resort, with the town officially incorporated in 1872.

Plans to mark the occasion include a heritage trail complete with history boards, listening benches and trail challenges – with the whole Tendring District Council (TDC) project receiving £250,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, celebrations will be kick-started with an event in the town in Spring 2021 – and it is hoped as more people look to take staycations next year the district as a whole could have a bumper season.

Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said the celebrations would not only mark Clacton’s history, but also kick-off the summer season and a year of Celebrating Tendring events.

“Given it is now the largest town in Tendring it is easy to forget Clacton is actually the newest,” Councillor Stock said.

“I can’t wait to learn more about its history and to see the work that develops out of this project.

“The birthday celebrations will mark the start of what we all hope will be a fantastic year for Clacton, and Tendring as a whole.

“We are really keen for Clacton businesses to think about how they can mark the occasion, and bring the whole town together to celebrate this landmark.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund proposal also includes money for two co-ordinator roles to pull together commemorative activity.

As well as looking at the ‘birth’ of Clacton, the project will chart the town’s history through the ages – from its Victorian beginnings, to Butlins and pirate radio, to more modern times.

Through development of the trail it is hoped to get more people walking or cycling, supporting the work of Active Essex and the Essex Local Delivery Pilot Sport England project.

To ensure there is a legacy from the celebrations the project is funded until December 2022, and work will take place to create or support a heritage community group to continue the work going forward.