Avon Heath Country Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty located on the outskirts of Ringwood, the new home to ICM.
On 20 September, the ICM Global Communications team visited the park for the official opening of the brand new Discovery Centre – a gateway to one of the UK’s rarest and wildest landscapes. The launch coincided with the park’s annual Heathland Festival, which celebrates the unique habitat that is Avon Heath.
Adults and children of all ages were given the exciting opportunity to get up close to some of the inhabitants of the heath – including bats, horses and cattle – and were entertained with workshops, competitions and exhibitions by local conservation charities. The park’s rangers were delighted with the turnout and estimate that more than 2,000 visitors attended.
At the centre of the festival, families marveled at the 8-foot sculpture of the ‘Massive Minotaur Beetle’ – a dung beetle that resides on the heath. The beetle was made out of natural materials, all of which can be found on Avon Heath. It was created by children from two local schools who attended a workshop in July, sponsored by ICM Chairman Dr Alistair Somerville Ford.
Environmental artist Olivia Keith worked with the children during the workshop and was on hand during the festival. She said: “The children had a really good day and really enjoyed exploring the heath with the rangers to find the materials – including heather and willow – in order to construct the beetle.”