A POPULAR festival is to celebrate its 40th year this summer, with sporting and leisure activities available for all ages and abilities.

The Mersea Island Festival, which first started in 1981, will take place in August after being cancelled two years consecutively due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event lasts more than a week, starting on Sunday, August 21, and finishing on Monday, August 29 with activities on offer for able-bodied and disabled individuals.

It is estimated more than 300 campers, day visitors, and volunteers from all over the east of England will be attending over the eight days of festivities, with friendship groups and clubs often making the journey to take part in everything on offer.

Assisted climbing, archery, an adventure course, art activities, circus skills, band workshops, judo, zipwire, and trampolining are just some of the new things people can try, with places available for the day, the weekend, or an entire week.

Evenings feature live bands, discos, a big screen cinema, and a talent show run by the Mersea Island festival organisers.

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Chairman of the Mersea Island Festival Trust is Tom Brennan, who organises a group of about 60 dedicated volunteers.

All 60 work on all fronts at the camp to ensure the eight-day event runs smoothly and everyone gets the most out of their time in Mersea.

Discussing the event, Mr Brennan said events like the Mersea Island Festival are ideal for people to discover interests they never knew they had.

He said: “Each year we aim to provide a thrilling selection of sporting and leisure activities for the young at heart of all abilities.

“Wheelchair users having a go on the trampoline or moving up a climbing wall and then down a zip wire.

“Whatever your interest, even those you didn’t know you had, you can be one of our many guests each year who say ‘I’d never get to do this if I didn’t come to Mersea Island Festival’.”

Further information about the festival can be found via info@merseafestival.org.uk or calling 01206 383226.