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Launch of summer festival to help people connect with nature

Cley Calling Summer Spirit. Picture: Richard Osbourne

Cley Calling Summer Spirit. Picture: Richard Osbourne

Ria Mishaal Photography

The Cley Calling Summer Spirit festival is a long weekend of wildlife and creativity inspired by the north Norfolk coast.

Cley Calling pond dipping. Picture: NWTCley Calling pond dipping. Picture: NWT

With Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Aspinall Centre as its hub, it’s a festival of writing, art, photography, music and performance all inspired by the natural world.

This is the third year of the trust’s festivals, and Cley Marshes centre manager Ewan Carr said: “The Cley Calling celebration will show off this great landscape and encourage people of all ages to engage with wildlife, nature and the creative responses it inspires.”

Each event in the festival reflects nature in a different way, through the eyes, the voice, the fingertips or the mind of a different artist.

For families, a two-day workshop will see one of the bird hides at Cley become a giant pinhole camera, with an exhibition of photos created.

Marsh harrier juvenile at Cley Marshes. Picture: Wendy CooperMarsh harrier juvenile at Cley Marshes. Picture: Wendy Cooper

Marine wildlife will be celebrated with a free full day of ‘Ocean Commotion’ on the beach.

There will be performances from musician Toby Hay and John Hinton will sing his ‘Ensonglopedia of Science’.

Bringing her new book Eye of the Shoal, Helen Scales will enchant with the watery secrets of fishes’ lives.

And North Norfolk artist Amelia Mills will deliver a live demonstration of her unique style of capturing the North Sea waves in paint and exhibit her work in the Aspinall Centre for two weeks.

With its mix of grazing marsh, saltmarsh and reedbed, Cley is not only a celebrated site for birds. Its varied habitats are also home to many scarce or little-known species of moth, so experts will be on hand to open their live traps and share a haul of moths.

Even less well-known than moths are solitary bees, many of which are tiny and inhabit vanishing remnants of habitat.

Nick Owens, author of Bees of Norfolk and Cley local, will lead a workshop on bee identification.

Other events include guided walks, a beach clean, a barbecue on the terrace, and wildlife watching.

Cley Marshes: Thursday, August 2-5, For the full events listing and to book events, go to www.cleycalling.com or call the NWT visitor centre at Cley on 01263 740008.

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