Skip to Main Content

L4L Conference 2019 - Site Visits

This year’s conference has the theme of outstanding beauty, outstanding opportunity, the local AONB team that works across the Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONBs have organised a series of site visits to explore this theme.

The site visits are designed to provoke lively debate, and to share knowledge.  The site visit leaders will develop a single sided summary of learning from each trip and delegates are encouraged to contribute to the development of the paper. The paper will be posted on the Landscapes for Life website post conference to ensure learning is shared as widely as possible. The site visits will look at the role of designated landscapes in securing environmental gains, with particular reference to natural beauty, special qualities and the role of designated landscapes in economic, social and environmental well-being.

This conference will take place during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.  It also occurs during the Designated Landscapes Review and the site visits will be an outstanding opportunity for delegates to debate the best approaches in management at a landscape scale.

The modes of transport and time allocated to travel have been included in the brief descriptions so that you can make an informed choice based on your preferences. Delegates with specific requirements are advised to enquire about the suitability of the site visit in advance from the site visit leader (contact details are available in each description).

Site visits are an optional element of conference and will take place on Tuesday 9 July starting at 11am or 12 noon. If you wish to join one of the site visits, please indicate your choice on the online booking form.

Site Visit 1: Natural Beauty, Designation, Mapping and Process

Leaders

  • Simon Amstutz, AONB Manager, Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnerships
  • David Vose, Senior Advisor, Natural England
  • Alison Farmer, Principal, AFA
  • Rick Vonk, Site Manager, RSPB

Description

SV1-A-house-for-Essex.jpg

An opportunity to hear from and ask questions to Natural England staff and nationally recognised experts on the designated landscape boundary variation projects. 

The visit will include presentations and a visit to the only area in England currently subject to a boundary variation project. Delegates will be taken by minibus to the southern shore of the Stour Estuary in Essex to look at landscapes currently being considered for inclusion in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB.  Following a picnic lunch, on the banks of the estuary, delegates will have the opportunity to hear presentations from Natural England and a landscape expert on the current process and how that process might look post Glover.

Following the presentation delegates will walk part of the area taking in Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’ (outside view only) and the outstanding Stour Estuary Nature Reserve with the RSPB’s Rick Vonk participants will also experience part of what is likely to become part of the new England Coast Path, locally famous beach huts at Wrabness and wonderful views of the estuary that is designated a Special Protection Area.

Delegates will then be transported to Harwich International Train Station for a short train journey back to Manningtree that will allow more views of the proposed AONB extension area.  A minibus will then transport participants back to the University of Essex

Themes

  • Designated landscape boundary review process.
  • Features relating to designated landscapes.
  • Landscape quality.

Outcomes and Outputs

Output 1: Production of single page summary by the Leaders developed with delegates on what has been learnt.
Output 2: Delegates will have visited current boundary review process and current thinking of how process might look post Glover.
Outcome 1: Delegates will have increased understanding of designated landscape boundary variation process and important factors in future boundary variation projects.
Outcome 2: Delegates will be in a stronger position to influence their own review process due to increased knowledge of the process.

Difficulty

Approximately 5 miles of walking on public rights of way with gentle/moderate slopes.

Meals

Picnic lunch taken outdoors (wet weather alternative available).

Travel

Noon departure from University of Essex – 30 minutes of minibus travel to first stop.
Some further short minibus transfers. Around 5 mile walk. 20 minute train journey. 30 minute minibus transfer back to University of Essex.

Max group size

19

Further details

For further details contact Simon Amstutz, 07971 909649 or simon.amstutz@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on public rights of way and suitable clothing for either sunny or wet conditions as appropriate.  It is suggested participants bring a water bottle and snack.

Site Visit 2: Natural Beauty, Special Qualities and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

SOLD OUT

Leaders

  • Beverley McClean, AONB Planning Officer, Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale AONB Partnerships
  • Paula Booth, AONB Officer, Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale AONB Partnerships
  • Ian Houlston, Associate, LDA Design
  • Gill Wynne-Williams, Director, Wynne Williams Associated

Description

The first part of this site visit will be ‘classroom based’ and will be divided into 2 sessions.

Session 1: Understanding Natural Beauty and Special Qualities (45 mins)

SV2-Little-Horkesley.-Stour-Valley.jpg

Ian Houlston, LDA will lead the session to explore ‘Natural Beauty and Special Qualities’ indicators that constitute Natural Beauty (based on NE 2011 guidance table) and Special Qualities that together define character and create a special sense of place.

Using the Dedham Vale AONB as a base, delegates will learn about the natural beauty indicators applied to this AONB landscape and find out about how these characteristics combine to create a unique sense of place.  This workshop will consider how natural beauty and special qualities can be impacted by development.

Session 2: Understanding Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (60 mins)

SV2-landscape-assessment.jpgGill Wynne Williams, Director, Wynne Williams Associated will lead this session to examine the process of undertaking Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) and demonstrate how this tool can be used to understand potential impacts on the landscape character and Natural Beauty and Special Qualities of AONBs.

Following the classroom based session delegates will undertake a practical session based on site within the AONB.  The group will be guided through the process of completing a high level landscape assessment.  This will include the identification of potential adverse impacts to landscape character as well risks to Natural Beauty and Special Qualities, followed by a discussion focused on appropriate mitigation to avoid or minimise adverse impact.

Themes

  • Natural Beauty and Special Qualities
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Planning in an AONB setting

Outputs and Outcomes

Output 1: Production of a single paged summary produced by the Leaders on what has been learnt.
Output 2: Leaders to prepare crib sheet for delegates to take away about offering advice to Local Planning Authorities Natural Beauty and Special Qualities
Outcome 1: Improved understanding of concept of Natural beauty and Special Qualities
Outcome 2: Improved knowledge of Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment as a process

Difficulty

Approximately 3 miles of walking on public rights of way with gentle/moderate slopes

Meals

Lunch and afternoon tea and cake.

Travel

11am departure from University of Essex – 30 minutes of minibus travel from University of Essex to Little Horkesley in the Dedham Vale AONB. Return travel via minibus.

Max group size

14

Further details

For further details contact Paula Booth 01394 445225 paula.booth@suffolk.gov.uk or Beverley McClean on 01394 445220 beverley.mcclean@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on public rights of way and suitable clothing for either sunny or wet conditions as appropriate. It is suggested participants bring a water bottle and snack.

Site Visit 3: Cultural Elements of Natural Beauty as an Economic and Visitor Asset

Leaders

  • Cathy Smith, AONB Communications Funding and Development Officer, Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnerships
  • Katherine Davies, LEADER funded Stour Valley Visitor Development Officer
  • Okasan Last, LEADER funded Stour Valley Visitor Development Officer
  • Annie Willey, Brand Manager, The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation
  • Julian Evans, Chair, The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation
  • Allison Girling, Property Operations Manager, National Trust Sutton Hoo
  • Joshua Ward, Senior Visitor Experience Officer, National Trust Sutton Hoo
  • Esther Mower, Visitor Services, Suffolk Punch Trust
  • Brian Johnson, Resident, Shingle Street Settlement Company
  • Jenny Hand, Director, Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum Dedham

SV3-Shingle-Street-Coastal-Lagoons-Tony-Pick.jpg

Description

An opportunity to learn about how both the natural environment and heritage visitor sites are managed for visitors, visiting several examples of both honeypot and fragile sites, and talking to those who manage visitors in a natural and historic context.

The trip includes visiting sites on the Suffolk Coast and Constable Country in Essex:

 

  1. At National Trust Sutton Hoo, there will be opportunity to meet and hear from representatives from the National Trust who will talk about visitor development of a significant heritage site, with a current HLF funded scheme;
  2. The visit to the Suffolk Punch Trust, for lunch and presentations from the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation (DMO), will include the opportunity to see how volunteers created a visitor destination over a ten+ years period to become a modest but viable asset, plus see the Heritage Garden, home of the Suffolk plant collection of national significance;
  3. Shingle Street (walking from Suffolk Punch Trust) is a fragile site popular with a range of visitors, and the community has been trying to develop ways to influence behaviour for environmental gain;
  4. We transfer by bus to the Dedham Vale AONB (about 50 mins), to the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, Dedham, home of the national collection of art by Sir Alfred Munnings. Dedham Vale AONB is known by many as (John) Constable Country and has significant art heritage assets. Includes a tea stop.
  5. In conversations and on transfers topics will also include: recent AONB led projects (EU Interreg BALANCE and Proximity, Volunteer Tourism, and LEADER funded Stour Valley Visitor Development), publications and guides, and general discussion on work of AONB Partners (where not covered by visits).

Themes

  • Managing visitors in both honeypot and fragile sites
  • Heritage visitor locations in a landscape context
  • Natural environment in a visitor context
  • Information provision and working together

Output and outcomes

Output 1: Production of a single sided summary to be produced by the Leaders on what has been learnt.
Output 2: Delegates will have seen visitor management in practice at nationally significant and local assets.
Outcome 1: Delegates will have increased understanding of visitor management in natural and heritage locations.
Outcome 2: Delegates will learn about visitor management and have tools to change their work practices considering information learned.

Difficulty

Maximum of three miles of walking (one occasion) on public rights of way with gentle/moderate slopes.

Meals

Sandwich lunch (indoors). Afternoon cup of tea/possibly cake!
(please carry water with you all day).

Travel

11am departure from University of Essex – one hour travel to first stop then several transfers back in the direction of base (one is a 50 minute transfer). There will be one walk of three miles.

Max group size

21

Further details

For further details contact Cathy Smith 07872 417080 Catherine.smith@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on public rights of way and suitable clothing for either sunny or wet conditions as appropriate. It is suggested participants bring a water bottle and snack.

Site Visit 4: Natural Beauty and Natural Capital

Leaders

  • Pete Cosgrove, Marine Pioneer Manager, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership
  • Miranda Cooper Conservation & Land Manager, Essex & Suffolk Water
  • Chris Tyas, Wallasea Island Project Manager, RSPB
  • Dave Smart, Head of Landscape Conservation, Essex Wildlife Trust
  • Bill Jenman, Landscape Partnership Development Officer, Quantocks AONB Partnership
  • Cllr Nigel Chapman, JAC Chairman, Dedham Vale AONB Partnership

Description

SV4-Abberton-Reservoir.jpg

The trip will visit a well-established managed realignment scheme following a visit to Abberton Reservoir, the fourth largest reservoir in England, just 5 miles south of Colchester.

Essex is the driest county in the UK, and in a dry year, already has a shortage of water compared with demand. Essex & Suffolk Water will explain how they invested £150million in the Abberton Scheme to increase the 1,800-acre reservoir storage by nearly 60%.  It was the first major water resources development in the country for 30 years which changed the local landscape. The construction phase started in 2010 and the reservoir reached its new top water level in 2015. The reservoir is a Ramsar Site, a Special Protection Area designated under the EU Birds Directive, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Essex & Suffolk Water will share their current biodiversity & ecosystem services net gain work.

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB will then introduce the concept of natural capital and net gain in relation to the success of the Abberton scheme and lay foundations of the Defra Pioneer work that is ongoing on the Suffolk estuaries which will be discussed in greater detail at Abbotts Hall Farm.

RSPB will then present on the UK’s largest coastal wetland restoration, their ‘Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project’. We will hear how this landmark conservation and engineering project is transforming previous arable land into the largest mosaic of wetland habitats of its kind in Northern Europe. Originally five separate saltmarsh islands, the area was gradually enclosed be sea defences, grazed, drained and converted to large-scale arable production. RSPB will explain how they are working with partners to create a new 1650-acre landscape to help the coast and its wildlife adapt in the face of climate change.

We will then travel to Abbotts Hall Farm to visit a now well-established managed realignment scheme on the Blackwater Estuary. In 2002 Essex Wildlife Trust worked with partners on a then pioneering scheme to breach a 3.5km sea wall in 5 strategic locations and revert 120 acres of arable to intertidal, and 80 acres of arable to grassland. We will walk to the largest 100m breach and see, 17 years on, how the landscape has changed, hear about the factors which have shaped it and lessons learnt. We will share work by Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB on the visual impacts of coastal defences and discuss current work on the natural capital approach and challenges in mainstreaming project successes seen today.

Themes

  • Increasing demand for water & landscape change
  • Biodiversity & ecosystem services net gain at Abberton
  • Coastal zone management in response to climate change
  • Natural capital approach and aspirations of net gain on the coast.
  • Visual impact of coastal defences
  • Partnership working

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how an increasing demand for water can result in the need for landscape change; and how this can present an opportunity to enhance natural beauty and special quality indicators.
  2. Understand some of the issues involved in sustainable coastal management and their impacts on the landscape. Hear about one current coastal realignment project and visit one past realignment project to reflect on the lessons learnt.
  3. Understand current work on the natural capital approach and aspirations of net gain in the coastal zone.

Meals

Lunch to be provided at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre – option to eat outdoors if weather good.

Travel arrangements

Noon departure from University of Essex – 30 minutes of minibus travel to first stop at Abberton Reservoir. Opportunity to explore on foot. Further 15-minute minibus transfer to final stop at Abbotts Hall Farm where there will be a circa. 2-mile walk. 30 minute minibus transfer back to University of Essex. (Toilets will be available at both Abberton Visitor Centre and at Abbotts Hall Farm.)

Difficulty

Approximately 2 miles of walking on tracks or unmown grass on gentle/moderate slopes

Max group size

22

Further details

For further details contact Pete Cosgrove 07860 831 801 Peter.Cosgrove@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on unmown grassland and suitable clothing for all reasonable weather conditions.  It is suggested participants bring a refillable water bottle and snack.

Site Visit 5: Enhancing Natural Beauty through Management

Leaders

  • Emma Black, Countryside Projects Officer, Dedham Vale AONB Partnership
  • Lynn Allen, Countryside Projects Officer, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership
  • Andrew Excell, South East Suffolk Sites Manager, Suffolk Wildlife Trust
  • Jonathan Dyke, Managing Director, Suffolk Yacht Harbour
  • Mark Nowers, Conservation Officer East of England, RSPB
  • Giles Cawston, Woodlands Warden, Suffolk Wildlife Trust

SV5-Levington-saltmarsh-credit-Andrew-Excell.jpg

Description

An opportunity to hear from and ask questions to conservation and business experts in the field of protected landscape management, and visit their projects across both AONBs, which highlight examples of site management and condition monitoring in time of climate change.

Delegates will be taken by minibus to the northern shore of the Orwell estuary (SPA, SAC and Ramsar), in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. Here you will meet Andrew Excell, South Suffolk Coastal Sites Manager SWT, and walk along the Stour & Orwell Walk to the managed realignment site adjacent to SWT Trimley Marshes (SSSI) and the Port of Felixstowe, Europe’s largest container port.

Continuing west along the Stour & Orwell Walk, Andrew will talk about the Suffolk Wader Strategy, and the work that has taken place to arrest and reverse the decline in populations of water birds in the UK.

We will then meet Jonathan Dyke, Managing Director, Suffolk Yacht Harbour, who will show us the re-charge project which has made beneficial use of their dredgings in order to regenerate the salt marsh.

We will have a bar snack onboard The Lightship – a retired Light Vessel in the marina of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington on the River Orwell.

Delegates will be taken by minibus to RSPB Wolves Wood, an ancient woodland and SSSI which the renowned woodland historian Oliver Rackham once described as the “wettest wood in England”. We will meet Mark Nowers, Conservation Officer East of England, RSPB, and hear what the RSPB has done in the last ten years to re-wet the wood.

A short journey in the minibus will take us to another ancient woodland at the SWT LNR/SSSI Arger Fen & Spouses Vale within the Dedham Vale AONB. We will be met by, Giles Cawston, Woodlands Warden, SWT, who will show us examples of natural regeneration and the impact of ash dieback on this. We will have light refreshments on site before departing back to the University of Essex.

Themes

  • Managed realignment of the Orwell estuary for habitat management and the beneficial use of dredging and re-charge to create intertidal and saltmarsh habitat.
  • Woodland management techniques addressing re-wetting of an ancient woodland and natural regeneration and ash dieback.

Outputs and Outcomes

Output 1: Production of a single page summary to be produced by the Leaders on what has been learnt.
Output 2: Delegates will have visited several estuarine and woodland sites, to discover how management techniques can help these habitats in time of climate change.
Outcome 1: Delegates will have learnt how the intertidal area and salt marshes – which are being degraded by coastal squeeze and sea level rise – can be restored and created.
Outcome 2: Delegates will discover practical and non-intervention techniques to manage woodland habitats for the future.
Outcome 3: Delegates will change their work practices in light of information learned.

Difficulty

Estuary and woodland paths with the longest walk being approximately 3 miles, with gentle/moderate slopes.

SV5-Suffolk-Yacht-Harbour-logo.jpg

Meals

A light bar snack on a retired Light Vessel in the marina of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington on the River Orwell.  Lunch courtesy of Suffolk Yacht Harbour. Afternoon tea/cake.

Travel

11am departure from University of Essex – 50 minutes of minibus travel to first stop. Approx. 3 mile walk and some further short minibus transfers, with a 30 minute minibus transfer to the University of Essex.

Max group size

14

Further details

Contact Emma Black, 07855 756785 or emma.black@suffolk.gov.uk and Lynn Allen, 07850 212486 or lynn.allen@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on Public Rights of Way and suitable clothing for the weather conditions as appropriate, including suncream and a hat. Please bring a water bottle and snacks.

Site Visit 6: Enhancing Special Qualities

Leaders

  • Neil Lister, Countryside Projects Officer, Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnerships
  • Alex Moore da Luz, River Stour Project Officer, Dedham Vale AONB Partnership
  • Will Akast, Catchment Delivery Manager, Environment Agency
  • Darren Tansley, River Catchment Co-ordinator, Essex Wildlife Trust
  • Robert Erith, Chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley Partnership
  • Mark Prina, Foxearth Meadows Reserve Manager
  • Douglas Pike, Founding Chairman, Rowley Wood Community Nature Reserve

Description

SV6-foxearth-meadows.jpg

The Suffolk-Essex border lowland landscape would be recognisable today as when painted by Constable and Gainsborough. Charming villages, fascinating attractions, interesting wildlife and beautiful countryside attract residents and visitors. However, a fine landscape at ‘overview’ still has elements that require improvement/investment. This Trip explores challenges faced and how communities and organisations have sought to conserve and reinstate the ‘fabric’ of this working protected landscape.

We travel by minibus to Shrubs Farm where we will lunch and learn more about river restoration at catchment scale and the reintroduction of Eurasian beavers to Essex. Meet Robert Erith, Chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley Partnership.

We then visit a river restoration project on the Belchamp Brook (a tributary of the River Stour) to see river restoration in practice. Then on to Foxearth Meadows. Charity ‘A Rocha UK’ owns this reserve, which is already home to 21 dragonfly and damselfly species. Reserve Manager Mark Prina will show us around. We will briefly visit the ‘Native Black Poplar Nursery’ at Alphamstone to see and hear about the AONB Teams efforts to ensure the Stour Valley remains a stronghold for this tree.

On by bus to ‘The Lamarsh Lion’ pub for a ‘refuel’. Dating from the 14th Century and now owned by the local community, it has connections with John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, hence the nickname “The Painters’ Pub”. We then head back to the University of Essex by minibus via Rowley Wood Community Nature Reserve, Stoke by Nayland.

Themes

  • Practical works to improve a protected landscape’s natural beauty and special qualities
  • Community action and involvement
  • Enhancing landscape features and engaging people with the natural environment
  • Thriving biodiversity that supports residents and visitors

Outputs and Outcomes

Output 1: A single sheet summary to be produced by the Leaders on what has been learnt.
Output 2: Delegates will have visited river restoration scheme and learnt about the practicalities of achieving catchment improvements in today’s lowland river systems.
Outcome 1: Delegates will have increased understanding of managing land for key wildlife species and making that relevant to people in a protected landscape. This will be transferable to their own designated landscape-examples of how this could be applied will be sought.
Outcome 2: Delegates will gain an insight into how communities currently value protected landscapes and operate within them.

Difficulty

Easy short walks (max 1 mile) around sites. Take walking shoes/boots, sun hat, sun cream and wet weather gear.

Meals

Buffet lunch taken indoors, and mid trip snacks (taken outdoors if weather is kind).

Travel

11am departure from University of Essex – 35 minutes of minibus travel to first stop. Further journeys by minibus between sites. Short walks (no further than 1 mile) around sites visited. 35-minute minibus transfer back to University of Essex

Max group size

12

Further details

For further details contact Neil Lister, 07920 577271 or neil.lister@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on rough ground and suitable clothing for sunny or wet conditions as appropriate.  It is suggested participants bring a drink and snack.

Site Visit 7: Nature Recovery as an Approach to Enhancing Natural Beauty

Leaders

  • Claire Cadman, AONB Projects Officer, Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnerships
  • Rachel Fancy, Warden, RSPB
  • Patrick Welsh, Coastal Access Adviser, Natural England

Description

SV7-wallasea-Island.jpg

A tremendous opportunity to visit the UK’s largest coastal wetland restoration project, RSPB’s ‘Wallasea Island Wild Coast’. Once complete it will be the largest mosaic of wetland habitats of its kind in Northern Europe.

Originally five separate saltmarsh islands, Wallasea Island in the Crouch & Roach estuaries was gradually enclosed by sea defences, then grazed, drained and converted to large-scale arable production. We will hear how this landmark conservation and engineering project is transforming Wallasea Island to create a new 1650-acre landscape to help the Essex coast and its wildlife adapt in the face of climate change.

RSPB also hope to create a major new visitor attraction for quiet enjoyment of nature and open space that will reconnect people with their coastal heritage. Proposals include a visitor centre; five birdwatching hides; and 15 km of new footpaths.

Natural England will explain their work on the England Coast Path and the considerations at Wallasea Island when looking to create the county’s first National Trail in the area. We will finish the visit with a short trip across the Crouch estuary on the Burnham Foot Ferry and hear about Natural England’s approach to aligning on Essex estuaries.

Themes

  • Coastal zone management in response to climate change
  • Landscape-scale change
  • Partnership working
  • Sustainable tourism & England Coast Path

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand some of the issues involved in sustainable coastal management and their impacts on the landscape. Learn what it takes to deliver the largest wetland restoration in the UK.
  2. Understand the considerations when aligning a new National Trail around the coast of England. Understand how estuaries are considered, as well as the role of foot ferries.

Difficulty

Approximately 3 miles of walking on tracks or unmown grass on gentle/moderate slopes

Meals

Picnic lunch to be provided. To be eaten on coach and/or finished in Wallasea Classroom

Travel

Noon departure from University of Essex – 1 hour 15 min minibus trip to Wallasea Island. Met by RSPB staff and 2 hour exploration of Wallasea Island before 10 minute foot ferry trip across the River Crouch to Burnham-on-Crouch. 1 hour 15 min minibus transfer from Burnham back to University of Essex. (Toilets will be available on arrival at Wallasea Island in Wallasea Classroom and on departure from Burnham Quayside).

Max group size

22

Further details

For further details contact Claire Cadman 07543 237 706 or claire.cadman@suffolk.gov.uk. Participants will need appropriate footwear for walking on unmown grassland and suitable clothing for all reasonable weather conditions.  It is suggested participants bring a refillable water bottle and snack.