| Press Release - 12 February 2008
SNOWDROPS SPECTACULAR AT THE GARDENS OF EASTON LODGE, LITTLE EASTON
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is taking inspiration from the Chronicles of Narnia for this year's 'Snowdrops Spectacular' at the Gardens of Easton Lodge which takes place from noon till dusk on the afternoon of Sunday 24 February.
Held among the snowdrop carpets of the famous gardens at Little Easton, near Great Dunmow, the event has become a staple in the SSE campaign calendar and is always a magical experience with a suitably costumed cast offering fun, games and prizes for children during the course of the afternoon. It is SSE's fourth Snowdrops Spectacular whose previous themes have included Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz.
Volunteers from SSE are once again organizing the event in conjunction with Diana and Brian Creasey who have done so much to restore the gardens to the original design of "Darling Daisy", Countess of Warwick.
The theme has particular relevance this year: while Narnia was held in the grip of a permanent winter, the Grade II listed Gardens of Easton Lodge have been blighted by airport expansion plans for almost six years now. BAA's proposals for Stansted would site a second runway just a mile away, devastating the peaceful setting of the gardens which are visited by ten thousand people annually.
Speaking ahead of the event, SSE's community representative Maggie Sutton said: "Narnia really is a fitting theme for this year's event since CS Lewis so often contrasts the beauty of nature with a sense of threat and foreboding in his books. He uses the return of the snowdrops and other Spring flowers to symbolize the hope of better times to come."
"Protecting the much-loved countryside and heritage around Stansted has been an important inspiration for our community's battle against expansion and the simplicity and beauty of the snowdrops in their tranquil setting at the Gardens of Easton Lodge are a small but important reminder of what we would stand to lose if a second runway were ever to be built," she continued.
Entry to this year's Snowdrops Spectacular costs £4 per head (adults and children) or £14 for a family ticket (two adults and two children), with part of the proceeds going towards SSE funds. No advance booking is necessary. Wellies are recommended.
To reach the Gardens of Easton Lodge, Little Easton, follow the brown heritage signs from Great Dunmow on the B184. Contact The Gardens of Easton Lodge on 01371 876979 or SSE on 01279 870558 for more information.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Media interviews and photo opportunities are available on request (contact Carol Barbone as per below). Photographs will be available following the event.
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, SSE: M 0777 552 3091, firstname.lastname@example.org