Thousands of bird boxes and 500 flags decorate town for festival

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft as part of First Light Festival's Days of Summer programme. - Credit: Reece Hanson

Thousands of bird boxes and hundreds of silk flags celebrated local schoolchildren and artists in Lowestoft this weekend.

While the First Light Festival had to be cancelled this summer amid lockdown uncertainty earlier this year, organisers instead put together the Days of Summer programme, which began with the summer solstice last week and continued this weekend.

Kensington Gardens, East Point Pavilion and the historic High Street hosted more than 2,000 bird boxes created by local pupils and acclaimed artists.

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft as part of First Light Festival's Days of Summer programme. - Credit: Reece Hanson

The outdoor exhibition recognised Lowestoft as one of the first landing posts for a number of different birds migrating across the world to settle and breed.

South Beach also saw the installation of 500 individually designed silk flags to mark the start of a 500 mile walk from Lowestoft to Tilbury, in Essex.

Organised by arts group Kinetika in partnership with the festival, walkers set off from the beach at noon on Sunday.

500 individually designed silk flags were installed on South Beach as part of the Days of Summer programme.

500 individually designed silk flags were installed on South Beach as part of the First Light Festival's Days of Summer programme. - Credit: Reece Hanson


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The flags had been designed by the people of Suffolk and Essex and transformed into hand-painted, naturally-dyed silk pennants to be displayed over the weekend.

Genevieve Christie, one of the festival directors, said: "It has been an absolutely lovely weekend, really fantastic.

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"We have had so many families and people coming down to see all of the birdboxes and flags, and it has been lovely hearing children enjoying it and showing their boxes to their families.

500 individually designed silk flags were installed on South Beach as part of the Days of Summer programme.

500 individually designed silk flags were installed on South Beach as part of the First Light Festival's Days of Summer programme. - Credit: Reece Hanson

"It has really created a lot of interest, and people have been really enjoying the beautiful installation of the flags too.

"It has been great to see so many people here enjoying it all.

"We are really pleased with the pitch of it. It isn't the full festival, but it was a chance for people to come and be together in a safe way, and that is what we wanted."

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft

Thousands of bird boxes were installed around Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft as part of First Light Festival's Days of Summer programme. - Credit: Reece Hanson

The festival also welcomed a number of performances on the beach throughout the weekend, including installations by artist Adam Bridgeland, shanties by the Lowestoft Longshore Men and the Silver Darlings, and sessions with the Kirkley Creatives group.

First Light Festival's Day of Summer programme continued over the weekend.

First Light Festival's Day of Summer programme continued over the weekend. - Credit: Reece Hanson


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