Friday 21st May 2021 to
Saturday 5th June 2021
The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme's Tales of the Fanns Walking & Arts Festival taking place in May and June. The 185 square kilometres of the Land of the Fanns spans towns and countryside in south west Essex and east London’s urban fringes. Over two weeks between 22 May and 6th June, a series of free walks and activities will occur across the area to reveal unexpected and delightful treasures waiting to be discovered in the Land of the Fanns.
Walk routes will cover areas such as West Thurrock taking in the famous Graffiti Wall, Davy Down to Bulphan, and Little Belhus. There will be activities online to accompany the walks and if restrictions permit, there will be live activities for visitors to participate in at a number of sites. Venues for walks and activities include Thames Chase Forest Centre, Pages Wood, RSPB Rainham Marshes, Thorndon Country Park, Bedfords Park and Eastbrookend Country Park. The festival takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday and half term so is perfect for getting out to explore after a long winter spent largely indoors.
The walks will be led by experienced walkers who can share local knowledge and will be of differing lengths, difficulties and at different starting times to make them accessible to all. All walks will need to be booked via Eventbrite to ensure numbers are maintained at the level set by any restrictions in place at the time of the walks. The Tales of the Fanns walks can be viewed and undertaken at any time after the festival as they will be recorded on the Land of the Fanns website.
The Tales of the Fanns festival is the culmination of a community mapping project begun in 2019 with arts organisation Kinetika. The project aimed to record 100 stories from communities across the Land of the Fanns: 100 insights into the things that make a place meaningful to local people, that elevate a place from mundane to significant to a community, that create a connection to where people live.
Kinetika, working with local people, created 100 silk flags to illustrate the 100 stories. Artist Jackie Creasey, and students from University Centre South Essex created costumes to bring to life some of the characters and wildlife found in the landscape. Fascinating short films about special areas in the Land of the Fanns have been produced by Rosa Productions and the local communities. All these elements will come together in the Tales of the Fanns festival to offer a new perspective on the area, demonstrate why the Landscape Partnership Scheme was originally initiated and to celebrate the uniqueness of the Land of the Fanns.
Saturday 22 May
Thames Chase to Stubbers
Activity at Thames Chase
Sunday 23 May
Monday 24 May
Davy Down to Bulphan
Saturday 29 May
Little Belhus, Oak/Ash Plantations / Belhus
Sunday 30 May
Evening: Bat walk
Monday 31 May
RSPB Rainham Marshes/Rainham Hall
Activity in the visitor centre
Wednesday 2 June
Thorndon Country Park
Friday 4 June
Bedfords Park to Dagnam Park via Havering village, the London Loop through Pyrgo Park to Noak Hill and Dagnam Park.
Saturday 5 June
Eastbrookend nature trail and river
Sunday 6 June
Finale Event - Langdon Hills
Coco Loco performance
Please check all dates and times on the website before attending an event as waks may be subject to last minute changes
About the artists
The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is a 5 year programme seeking to restore, discover and celebrate one of the last remaining landscapes of London as it once was. Spreading over East London and South West Essex, the Land of the Fanns is a fascinating landscape full of environmental and historic hidden gems.
The scheme aims to reunify and discover the landscape, strengthen attachment and create a sense of enjoyment of the landscape area for local people and visitors. Twenty six projects are being delivered in order to reach these aims.
As part of a community mapping project, the Tales of the Fanns Walking & Arts festival will celebrate the stories of characters and special places found in the Land of the Fanns and gathered from local communities.