In September 2014 we were fortunate enough to secure a Lottery Award in order to set up a Youth section of the River Waveney Trust, which was known as Halcyons (the latin word for Kingfisher pronounced hal-see-uhn). The grant also
provided funding for educational equipment and improvement to the facilities and safety at the River Waveney Study Centre in Earsham.
The Halcyon group was launched in February 2015 when we h
eld an Open Morning, for parents/grandparents and children, at the River Waveney Study Centre.
Our first ‘Learn to Fish’ event was held during the Easter holiday period in 2015.
Children between the ages of 5 -14 were invited to join the Halcyon group and were provided with a Halcyon t-shirt and a lanyard.
We ran events from 2015-2017, including family fun days, nature themed activity and art days and kayaking.
After the Study Centre reverted to the Otter Trust in March 2017 (which later became The Earsham Wetland Centre), the Halcyons were left without a base and had nowhere to store their equipment and craft materials. The Norfolk and Suffolk Air Museum, at Flixton, offered the RWT a space on their site and money was raised, v
ia an Auction of Promises, to purchase a portacabin, which could be used as an office and for storage. In the meantime the Halcyons showed their appreciation by construction a bug and hedgehog hotel at the Flixton site.
Further activities were arranged for the Halcyons including; decorating bug boxes and going on bug hunts at Flixton, as well as visits to the newly opened Earsham Wetland Centre and Shoreland Wildlife Trust.
The loss of the Study Centre, however, made it increasingly difficult to stage events, as the Halcyons no longer had a dedicated place where they could meet and all materials needed for activities had to be transported to the site of the activity.
It was therefore decided that the Halcyon model, which was conceived with the idea of working at the Study Centre, was no longer viable and that another way of encouraging young people to interact with their environment needed to be found. The Halcyon group folded after its last activity in August 2018.
At its height the Halcyons had over 40 children attending sessions.
During term time the same group of volunteers had welcomed and
organised school parties at The River Waveney Study Centre and also attended school events. Even after the closure of the Centre and the dissolution of Halcyons, volunteers continued to work with local schools building bug hotels, and organising activities until March 2020 when Covid-19 made this impossible.