New this year were Ipswich Borough Council’s Wildlife Rangers, who led pond-dipping down in the wildflower meadow. Here also, the RSPB was spreading the word about turtle dove conservation and showing people what they could do to encourage them to nest in their area.
Wingbeat Encounters bird of prey static display attracted huge interest, and Gary was constantly surrounded by children and adults wanting to learn more and have a turn at holding the owls and other birds.
Ipswich and East Suffolk Beekeepers’ Association was explaining the mysteries of the bee world to interested onlookers with their observation hive, kept nice and cool under our “wigloo” (living willow dome), which rather aptly looks like a giant skep for catching swarms!
Maz did the insect world proud with her range of bee-friendly plants, and butterfly information display, while Chantry Walled Garden plants flew off-site.
Meanwhile, Ipswich Wildlife Group did a great job of getting people to build wildlife habitats for insects and hedgehogs.
Up on the green sward, we had an array of stands and stalls, with Esther and David of Cactus Promotions leading jitterbug dancing as the centrepiece. It was fantastic to see so many people joining in.
Maidenhall Allotments had an impressive show of produce and jams, as well as the stress-busting tin-can alley, while ActivLives ran a tombola and raffle, as well as its ever-popular pop-up café and smoothie bike operation.
At the top of the site, Maidenhall Residents’ Association was kept on the hop with crowds enjoying the carousel and bouncy castle, as well as the book and card stalls, before resting up with a cup of tea in the pavilion.
Ahhh, we can all put our feet up until next year . . .