Wildlife and traditional countryside activities such as blacksmithing, willow weaving and recycling wildlife sculptures, as well as a chance to get up close to farm animals, snakes and invertebrates, will be just some of the many highlights of this year’s spectacular Countryside Live show at Leyton Marsh.
The show, in the heart of east London on the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September, aims to bring the countryside to the city with a host of fun things to see and do for the whole family. From sheep dancing and ferret racing to petting rabbits and guineas pigs and interacting with snakes and tarantulas, there is something for everyone.
Visitors to Countryside Live can watch craft makers produce their wares, including willow weaving, making smoothies with human powered bikes and creating dragonflies out of recycled materials such as milk bottle tops. They can choose from an array of rural activities, learn about food production and watch arena displays including falconry, sheep shearing and ferret racing.
There will also be a chance to take part in many hands on activities including creative minibeast related fun for children with the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s Youth and Schools section, wood turning, apple turning and making bird seed feeders, plus meeting a range of animals including otters, bats and calves.
The annual event organised by Lee Valley Regional Park Authorityattracts over 3,000 visitors and gives children and families the opportunity to discover the real countryside, right on their doorstep. The event is FREE for children up to 16 years and just £5 for adults, or £7 for a two day pass.
Jon Carney, Head of Parklands at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “This is always a hugely popular event when the countryside comes to town, packed with a myriad of things to do for all ages. It’s an opportunity for city youngsters (plus those young at heart) to come and see the animals, crafts and traditions of the countryside. This is their chance to get up close and learn why the British landscape relies on these animals and traditional crafts to survive. It’s enjoyable, exciting plus educational -and a great day out!”
When: Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September
Where: Leyton Marsh, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 7QL
Price: Adults £5, children up to 16 go FREE
Countryside Live takes place at Leyton Marsh, part of the 10,000 acre, 26 mile long Lee Valley Regional Park, which offers a unique combination of riverside trails, nature reserves and urban spaces which are free and open to the public 365 days of the year. The event is just part of a diverse calendar of Park events run throughout the year, more details on www.visitleevalleypark.org.uk
Countryside Live will host around 50 different exhibitors during the weekend. For a full list of organisations, please visit Lee Valley’s events page ‘What’s On’ at: www.visitleevalley.org.uk
The weekend event follows two days of educational fun on the same site at Leyton Marsh when a Countryside Live event is staged specially for schools on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September. Almost 3,000 primary schoolchildren from across London will enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside with many activities including a minibeast hunt for spiders and beetles and hands on creative learning.
Countryside Live is easy to find, located behind Lee Valley Ice Centre, on the Lee Valley Pathway and a short distance from the towpath. The site is easily accessible by public transport and is just two minutes away from Lea Bridge Station which has just opened. Bike racks are available on the site for those wishing to come by bike.
There is also some limited parking at the Ice Centre, which is chargeable.