We've all got to stay home for a bit longer so luckily, there is still loads of good stuff to do online.  Here are five local examples...

Talk and Wine Tasting at home with Tuffon Hall Vineyard - our friends at Tuffon Hall have found a great way for you to throw a party and connect with friends and family over a wine tasting without actually leaving your home.  For just £75, you’ll receive a delivery to your home of award-winning Bacchus, Single Estate Flint Dry White Wine, a Classic Cuvée (winner of ‘Wine of the Year 2020’ in the East Anglia Awards) and a delicious Sloe Gin, made from sloes from the farm as well as tasting notes and food pairing suggestions.  Invite six other households to join your Zoom party and then, at a pre-arranged date and time, connect with the Tuffon Hall ‘host’ for an online talk and tasting including an introduction to the vineyard, the variety of grapes and different wines they produce as well as a guided tasting through how to see, swirl, sniff and sip the three products from their range.  

The next date is Friday 5th March - book via the online shop and the team at Tuffon Hall will send you all the information you need for your great night in!

Get Fit for Spring…the guys at Nuclear Races have issued us a challenge to keep training or get started and take part in the Virtual Nuclear Fallout.  Choose from either 7K or 14K off-road challenge and make your race as difficult as possible, through rough terrain, bad weather and the muddier the better.  Think woodland, ditches and water-logged fields - no road runs accepted and there is a spot prize for the most inventive run!  Earn your Fallout Survivor running vest and medal as well as a big fat sense of achievement.

Stunning Snowdrops - the spectacular annual snowdrop display at Marks Hall Estate moves online this year from now until 21st February with the team sharing some incredible imagery and video, taking us on virtual walks to really experience the sights and sounds of the gardens, posting snowdrop blogs (who knew?) and running a family half-term scavenger hunt.  Hundreds of varieties of snowdrops flourish at the Estate every year and normally, the event draws large crowds.  The gardens are temporarily closed at the moment so this year’s stunning winter display has gone virtual.  Check out their social media channels, search @markshallestate for the latest or on their website.

Home is where the Art is… the first round of the The Great Big Art Exhibition has drawn to a close, hundreds artistic creations have been submitted and can now be viewed as part of a massive, UK-wide, online art exhibition.  Supported by big name artists like Anthony Gormley, artists are displaying work in the windows of their homes, front gardens, rooves, balconies and communal gardens as well as all over social media, using the #thegreatbigartexhibition2021.  Gormley, who chose the first theme, ‘Animals’ has suggested everyone taking part to ‘evoke their spirit animal’ in the artworks.  The project runs until 7th May with new themes being chosen every fortnight.  View the artworks online here and click here to get involved in the next round.

Away with the Birds…if you’re stuck at home, dying to get down to the Essex marshes or mud flats and watch the wonderful birds who frequent our shores each year then get a load of Mersea Wildlife and their latest update on what’s been seen along the Strood and shores on Mersea Island in recent days.  Most of the Essex snow has melted now so this blog is made even more enjoyable for its snowy images of the Island.  Mersea is a great place for watching a wide variety of birds, enjoying the rich pickings along its shores and this update includes sightings of Dunlin, Woodcock, Snipe, Stonechat and Sparrowhawk among many others.  Follow blogger Douglas Urquhart, ex-Ranger at Cudmore Grove Country Park, for more updates.




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