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Thousands flock to Nene Valley Festival

Published Tuesday, 02 October 2018

Thousands of people turned out to enjoy the masses of free activities on offer at the Nene Valley Festival.

Thanks to a boost in funding from Heritage Lottery through Nenescape, this year’s festival, which took place from Saturday 15 – Saturday 22 September, offered even more activities than ever before, boasting more than 110 events at key locations across the Nene Valley.

Chair of Destination Nene Valley, Andrew Langley and Chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Wendy Brackenbury officially launched the festival with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Becket’s Park, Northampton on Saturday 15 September. There was a huge range of activities on offer for all the family, including children’s activities, yoga and food and drink stalls, which were enjoyed by families across the county.

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for Community Engagement, Northampton Borough Council, which hosted the event, said: “Becket’s Park is the perfect venue to kick off this fantastic festival, particularly as it now has the new University of Northampton campus as a spectacular backdrop.

“The Nene Valley has along its length some outstanding towns and villages, country parks and architecture, offering a huge number of opportunities for people to get out and experience what our beautiful county has to offer.”

More than 1,000 people attended the Kingfisher Food and Drink Festival at Barnwell Country Park on Sunday to taste test the wide-range of local produce on offer and fitness fanatics from across the county tested their peddle power at the Cyclefest  at Stanwick Lakes.

To round off a fun-filled week of activities, the local community turned out to ‘come and meet the settlers’ at Stanwick Lakes on Saturday 22 September. Due to adverse weather, the finale event at Peterborough Market Square has been rearranged, and the date will be confirmed soon.

The annual festival, which is celebrating its fifth year, is delivered through the Destination Nene Valley project, which aims to promote the Nene Valley as a competitive, sustainable destination offering wildlife and heritage to local, national and international audiences.

Andrew Langley, Chair of Destination Nene Valley, said: “We are delighted that people of all ages, from across the county, joined us to help celebrate everything the Nene Valley has to offer.

“The festival offered an eclectic mix of activities for cultural and wildlife lovers alike and we hope that our residents and visitors are inspired to connect with the heritage of the Nene Valley.”

The festival is one of the key projects within the Nenescape Landscape Partnership scheme, a five-year Heritage Lottery funded scheme that works in partnership with sixteen organisations along the River Nene, to celebrate and look after its natural and built history. In total, thanks to National Lottery players, Nenescape will have provided more than £72,000 worth of funding to Nene Valley Festival by 2022, and have been instrumental in the delivery of the event.

Visit and follow @_nenevalley #nenevalley2018 on Twitter to keep up to date with the festival.