This year’s Greensand Country Festival, supported by Mulberry Homes, is back for 2021 after being postponed last year due to the pandemic. The festival is a great opportunity to showcase the Greensand Country and it also allows businesses who are charter members to join in with the celebrations.
Greensand Country is a beautiful and loved landscape. It is defined by the Greensand Ridge, a band of higher ground stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, which rises out of the surrounding vales to create a locally unique environment. Greensand Country contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland and more historic parkland than any other place in England.
If you are a business owner in Greensand Country, there are lots of resources that you can use within your own marketing, free of charge, to help you draw upon the special qualities of the area, to promote your services and engage with customers. In doing so, your business or organisation can become more competitive, more attractive and better connected with local networks.
Sign up via the website to get access to the online toolkit which is packed full of free content, an image library, and ideas for how to improve your marketing; your customer relations and visitor welcome; and enhance your customer’s enjoyment of the landscape. Charter members will also receive support from the Greensand Community to promote events via the website and social media, and perhaps become an integral part of the Festival celebrations next year.
Greensand Country is delighted that 76 businesses have signed up to the Business Charter in the last few weeks, including cafes, pubs and accommodation businesses including The Lounge at Flitwick, the Wooden Hill Coffee Company Ltd and many more.
After a year off, the Greensand Country Festival is determined to come back with a bang, and it has certainly achieved that. There is a fantastic line-up of activities throughout the month of May for all age groups and interests.
Events at the Festival range from vintage air displays to sound bathing in the Swiss Garden. For those not familiar with sound bathing, it involves meditating to the sounds of Tibetan bowls – a very relaxing experience.
There are of tours of the many historic gardens in the Greensand Country as well as guided walks with experts so visitors can learn about the wildlife, history, geology, heritage and rich culture of the area. Young families can enjoy a picnic in the park, while teenagers can go out with the Wildlife Trust youth rangers. The Invertebrate Day on May 29 is a wonderful opportunity for families to find out what creatures live on the Flitwick Moor – ideal for any young explorer.
To further bring the Greensand Country to life, five artists have been commissioned to help celebrate, while there will also be a film, three theatre shows, and two ‘zines’ created by an illustrator detailing the rich history of some of the parklands.
In addition, an artist who makes projects inspired by place, history and communities is producing five new pieces of work which will be exhibited at Shuttleworth during the Greensand Country Festival.
A team of volunteers have received training in oral history, archiving and historical research and are supporting the artists in their work, but are also interviewing local people to build an oral history archive.
Working with Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership, the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership will be celebrating the stories, landscape and heritage on the train journey from Bedford to Bletchley. Visitors can listen to a 40-minute train radio broadcast as the journey takes in historic parklands, ancient villages, heritage centres and sites of incredible industrialisation. There are creative writing and photography competitions and a series of talks taking place, too.
The events in the Greensand Country Festival are being put on by charter members and the businesses who partner with Greensand Country. The partnership is made up of 24 diverse organisations, communities, businesses and landowners that are working together to generate funding to deliver 90 projects.
The projects will help raise awareness of the distinctive, special and loved landscape and reverse the decline in its distinct character and special qualities. Together, the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership has already achieved a string of successes for your area.
The Revealing Greensand Country booklet has just been launched. This was another opportunity for partners and Business Charter members to advertise their businesses. The booklet contains maps, ideas and details of many local walks, such as the Buzzard Trails which includes the Leighton-Linslade Children’s Trail or the Story in Stone Mosaic Heritage Trail. 30,000 copies have been printed and distributed across the Greensand Country, but it can also be found on www.greensandcountry.com on the Festival page where it can be downloaded as a PDF.
As the Festival approaches, the Greensand Country is very pleased to have Mulberry Homes on board as key Festival sponsor for 2021. They are an organisation that shares the Greensand Country values in protecting the environment whilst addressing the evolving needs of local communities and businesses. Sponsorship opportunities for other local businesses will be available in the future.
If you are interested in any of these activities either from a business point of view to understand what is involved, or from a personal point of view, then book now via www.greensandcountry.com and visit the Festival page.
All walks, tours and events are listed there with plenty of information to help visitors decide what to do. The walks include Explore Manor Park, Rocks Across Greensand Country, and Walk the Vale.
One of the extra benefits of being a charter member is being able to add business details and website address to the Greensand Country website. This will create a new stream of customer interest and potential growth for the business.