Celebrate Somerset countryside with artwork

Does Happiness Grow on Trees?

If you live and work in Somerset or are a visitor, then you are invited to enter a creative competition this month (May 2019) demonstrating how you feel when you are outdoors in the county’s green spaces.

Somerset’s three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are searching for artwork entries including paintings, drawings, photography, poetry or creative writing pieces that show the emotions evoked by these landscapes.

We’re supporting the competition and our Taunton Store Manager, Bill Atkinson, who is an experienced hiker, explains: “We’re delighted to be helping judge this competition, which is part of Naturally Healthy May 2019, and to be also providing some of the prizes.

“Our team here are all experienced walkers and hikers and we appreciate how important the county’s open access spaces are. We have three wonderful AONBs, the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills and Quantock Hills, on our doorsteps and, as research has so often proven, spending time outdoors can greatly benefit all our well-being.”

Some of the competition entries will be displayed at exhibitions across the county and there will be a finale in September at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.

Prizes have been donated by us and the winners will be decided with our help too.

Kristen Lambert, Nature and Wellbeing Officer, who is responsible for increasing awareness of Somerset’s AONBs and what they have to offer, says: “We believe that experiencing and connecting with natural landscapes and environments makes us feel good and can improve health, wellbeing and happiness, but we’d like to find out how connecting with natural environments makes individuals feel here in Somerset though this competition.

“Entries must be submitted by May 24, 2019 digitally by email to me via [email protected] or by post to ‘Does Happiness Grow on Trees?’, Quantock Hills AONB, Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset TA5 2EQ.”

The competition and the Naturally Healthy May 2019 initiative are part of Somerset’s Nature and Wellbeing Project, which targets communities who are currently not accessing the Hills, but for whom access to the natural environment may be of great benefit to them.

Kristen adds: “Funded by Somerset Public Health, the project focuses on targeting communities that lie geographically close to the three AONBs, specifically: Blackdown Hills: Taunton, Chard, Wellington, the Mendip Hills: Wells, Cheddar and Burnham-on-Sea and the Quantock Hills: Taunton, Bridgwater and Williton.

“There are lots of special events taking place as part of our Naturally Healthy May 2019 including guided forages, walks, forest bathing and wild discovery days. To find out about all the events happening across Somerset, please click here: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/11909d_1fd636a777444820b015939f8d65d906.pdf

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