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Suffolk People: Talking to David Falk, Discover Suffolk Project.

David Falk from Discover Suffolk, enjoying the Suffolk countrysideDavid Falk has a great job – he manages the Discover Suffolk Project, which encourages people to get out into the Suffolk countryside to cycle, walk, ride and generally get close to nature. This means that quite often he has to get out there too in order to produce walks leaflets, improves access and generally make our rural county a nicer place for us to enjoy.

What new developments have you got planned?

I am about to launch a guide called Easy Going Trails, promoting 18 countryside routes which are accessible for wheelchair users, people using walking sticks or people with visual or hearing impairments. These are really lovely routes getting right into the heart of the countryside. What is also so exciting about this project is how different groups have come together with a common goal.

What aspect of your work with Discover Suffolk do you enjoy the most?

I love discovering Suffolk and being able to tell others about this amazing county. Finishing projects is also tremendously satisfying – I recently completed a new cycle path in Southwold and seeing people use it the day we opened it was just great.

What makes Suffolk different from other holiday destinations, why do you think we should all get out into the countryside and ‘discover Suffolk’?

Suffolk is extremely diverse, more so than people may think and definitely not flat! We are blessed with some truly wonderful coastline, many extraordinary estuaries, rolling hillsides and ancient woodlands, and the wild west of the Brecks – a wilderness of open heathland landscapes north of Bury St Edmunds. We have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, possibly the best RSPB reserve in the country and a wealth of nature sites run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust and many local groups.

What’s your ‘most memorable moment’ relating to your work?

The most memorable are those stop-in-your-track moments when fox cubs emerge from a thicket to play right in front of you, a red deer steps out from a reed bed ahead of you or a tawny owl silently glides through a woodland. It’s those moments with nature that are really special.

What do you like most about living and working in Suffolk?

I love how easy it is to escape in Suffolk – even on a busy bank holiday you can easily lose the crowds and enjoy some very tranquil spots. I also love the pace of life here. Having come from London and lived some years in Newcastle, the unhurried pace is very relaxing and an absolute de-stresser. And finally, I love the food – don’t tell too many people, but we have some of the country’s best gastro pubs!

Talking of food, where is your favourite place to eat?

My wife and I try to eat out at least once a week to try somewhere we like a lot or somewhere new. My current favourite has to be The White Horse at Sibton, but I never tire of The Crown at Stoke By Nayland. Can I also mention the Half Way Cafe at Darsham for breakfast? And Hollow Trees Farm Cafe for tea. And the coffee at Cafe Basso in Ipswich (which I always think of as our very own Bar Italia!).

Favourite place to go for a walk?

How can you ask me that! All walks in Suffolk are my favourites! Although my special favourites are Walberswick to Dunwich on the coast and Cavenham Heath in the Brecks – Suffolk at its very best.

Favourite event of the year?

The Suffolk Walking Festival. This will be our 5th year and it’s bigger and better than ever with a long distance ‘Challenge Walk’ across the county (70 miles in just 5 days), ‘Tearoom Wanders’ in Ipswich and even a ‘Troll Stroll’ ….

Suffolk Walking Festival

What’s your favourite Suffolk tipple?

James White Organic Apple and Ginger – wow!

Most fun fact about yourself?

I can book a train seat in Mandarin, say thank you in Swahili and say goodnight in Hebrew!

Thought for the day/philosophy on life?

There is no such thing as bad weather; just the wrong clothes.

For more information on the Discover Suffolk project, please visit their website . The Suffolk Walking Festival 2012, runs from 19th May – 10th June. Don’t forget to tell us what you have discovered about Suffolk that you love. Leave a comment below or start chatting to us on Facebook.

Discover Suffolk

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Written by Mark

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