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Go batty at Belhus, virtual pumpkins and Autumn delights


Go Batty at Belhus!

Welcome to the Explore Essex What’s On newsletter for October. We have some exciting seasonal activities across the beautiful parks and historic locations that make up the Explore Essex group of places to help you get out more this season. As well as some colouring sheets to keep the kids busy at home too!

With Essex having moved into Tier 2 our parks start to play an even more important part in our lives once again. Come and explore our beautiful green spaces safely and sensibly, follow the rule of six and social distancing, and embrace the weather! Bring your masks for any indoor spaces and always have sanitiser handy. Gather your household or support bubble and we hope to see you out and about very soon.



Country Parks win Green Flags for Excellence

Explore Essex is delighted to share the news that our country parks have been recognised for their excellent standards by being awarded Green Flag status.

The Green Flag awards recognise and reward well managed parks throughout the country and demonstrate that the spaces meet the needs of the communities that they serve.

This international award, now in its third decade, confirms to the public that the park boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Which park will you visit next? Discover them all here.

Read more about Tier 2 restrictions before you visit here

Take our Autumn Challenge

Autumn has arrived and the parks are brimming with colour. We’ve pulled together a little challenge to find five or more seasonal sights on your next trip to one of our country parks to help you and your household (or support bubble) explore all the delights Autumn has to offer.

Collect leaves in an array of colours, enjoy a conker fight, keep your eyes peeled for a squirrel, see if you can spot a duck by the lake and look out for brightly coloured berries on the bushes or mushrooms and fungi on fallen logs and amongst the long grass.

Discover more here. (Photo credit: Andrew Adams)

Essex Outdoors School Holiday Activity Days

The team at Essex Outdoors have the perfect solution to keeping your kids (8-16) active, entertained and coming back for more this October half term holiday.

Each day your kids will take part in up to four different exhilarating endeavours from mountain biking and archery to bush craft and orienteering led by experienced and enthusiastic staff.

Choose from Centres at Harlow, Danbury and Mersea, just £30 per child per day.

COVID-19 procedures are in place to help keep everyone safe.

Find out more and book.

Halloween Trails in the Parks

Trick or treat? We’ve got some treats for you this half term to help you get into the Halloween spirit!

Join us at Belhus Woods for a Spooky Bat Hunt Trail in the south west of the county, or visit Great Notley near Braintree and Chelmsford for a Halloween hunt.

Purchase your trail guide from the Visitor Centres for £4. Follow the directions and keep your eyes peeled for the trail markers along the way.

Fun for all the family, fancy dress is welcome but not essential! Booklet includes map, guided trail and some extra spooktacular activities. Remember to follow Tier 2 guidance when visiting. Read more here.

Halloween Colouring Sheets

The Explore Essex team have pulled together our own Spooky Fun pumpkin colouring sheet to help children (and adults) join safe, socially-distanced, ‘Hunt the Pumpkin’ fun this Halloween to spread a little cheer in your communities.

You can use our colouring template to create your own spooktacular pumpkin design and share it in your window ready to be spotted by families over half-term and Halloween.

Find out more here.

Visit Essex Challenging the Stereotype

Last but not least this month, our friends at Visit Essex have launched This is Essex, a short film which sees the good people of Essex stepping forward to showcase the real Essex to take on (and help dispel) some long-standing stereotypes.

In the film, comedian Ellie Taylor takes a wry look at the Essex accent, pantomime dame Anthony Stuart-Hicks shows off his white stilettos with tongue firmly planted in cheek and eighth generation Mersea oysterman, Tom Haward, proves going ‘out, out’ doesn’t always mean getting out the false eyelashes and fake tan!

Check it out and join in the conversation on social media www.visitessex.com #ThisisEssex

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