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10 ways to ... enjoy a family day out in East Anglia this weekend

PUBLISHED: 09:31 03 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:46 03 March 2017

 Brown hare at Buckenham

Brown hare at Buckenham

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10 ways to…spring into springtime and get your family outside and making the most of the first weekend of the meteorological spring

1 The mad March hare is not just a character in Alice in Wonderland, but bounds through the wilder places of Norfolk and Suffolk this month. It is the breeding season of the brown hare, and the very best time of year to see this elusive creature. Try visiting Buckenham Marshes, near Norwich, or King’s Forest in Suffolk and if you are very lucky you might even spot them boxing.

2 It might be spring, but the snowdrops are still out in all their icy glory at Raveningham, near Beccles. The gardens will be open from 11am to 4pm on Sunday in aid of the charities of the National Gardens Scheme. Admission £5, concessions £4.50, children under 16 free. See spring bulbs throughout the grounds, plus the 18th century walled kitchen garden and glasshouses, contemporary sculptures and a lake.

3 Help spring clean the beach at Cley Marshes from 10.30am to noon tomorrow. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust will be cleaning the shore to help coastal wildlife thrive. All equipment provided. £3.50 NWT members, £5 non-members

4 See spring bulbs at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, near Sudbury. The gardens are alight with snowdrops and daffodils, and open 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

5 Minsmere is a magnificent place to see spring happen in front of your eyes. It was the location for the BBC’s Springwatch for several years and on Sunday a birdwatching for beginners workshop should get more people wild about wildlife.

Experts from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will lead the session from 10.30am. Bring or borrow binoculars and book on 01728 648281 or Adults £8, children £4, plus usual reserve entry fees.

6 Pensthorpe, near Fakenham, was another place picked as a BBC Springwatch venue – so enjoy your own spring watching, along lakeside trails and through gardens and woodland, with the chance for families to enjoy a larger-than-life bug walk and indoor and outdoor play areas.

7 Children aged from five to 10 are invited to take part in art inspired by the nature at Lackford Lakes, near Bury St Edmunds. Naturally Art runs from 10am to noon and costs £5. Bring an old shirt or apron and book online with

8 The mile-long sculpture play trail at High Lodge, Thetford Forest, is a chance for kids to clamber over five giant wooden animal sculptures including a woodpecker, rabbit and spider. And it is just a tiny part of the forest full of fun for the whole family.

9 The March March march used to take place between Cambridge and the Cambridgeshire town of March. And March is as good a month as any to visit March, which is set on a Roman road, alongside the lovely River Nene, and also has a museum and the only church in the world dedicated to home-grown seventh century St Wendreda.

10 Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham, reopens for spring 2017 on Sunday, including its traditional farm where Suffolk Punch horses help work the land.

The British actress Emma Chambers – known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill – has died aged 53.

Volunteers have been out for much of the weekend in the search for missing Suffolk man Paul Moore – nearly three weeks after he was reported missing.

Suffolk entrepreneurs are being reminded of a major networking event at which Dragons Den star Levi Roots will be offering delegates advice on how to maximise their opportunities.

One of East Anglia’s air ambulances caused a stir on Saturday lunchtime after it was called to land near West Suffolk College near the heart of Bury St Edmunds.

Traffic using the junction between the A14 and Nacton Road near Ransomes Europark faced serious delays on Saturday lunchtime after a crash between two vans.

A Suffolk teacher helping deprived children at an Indian “slum school” is embarking on the first recorded hike along the country’s second longest river.

Music and entertainment retailer HMV has returned to Ipswich town centre after five weeks away.

Footballing legend Peter Shilton rubbed shoulders with an up-and-coming sportswoman who is aiming to emulate his achievements to play in front of thousands of fans for the senior England team.

Suffolk Coastal had been running the service for free but mounting financial pressures caused a change of heart – with a forecast £200,000 drop in county council recycling payments set to cause a big budget hole.

Despite being a bright and sunny start to the day temperatures have begun to drop ahead of the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ next week.

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