What is Community KAP?

Logos- This is a guest post by Bill Blake, one of the key partners in the OWLP partnership ; the original version was published at http://billboyheritagesurvey.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/what-is-community-kap/

What is Community KAP?

This is an activity, open to all ages and abilities (subject to appropriate supervision) that is relaxing, fun and places one in the landscape in a unique way.

What is it? KAP stands for Kite Aerial Photography and was invented in the 19th cent by Artur Batut in France, it has caught on in the modern age as we have cheap digital cameras, we are no longer at the mercy of the  plate negative!

The benefit of the method is 2 fold, first the capture of images of the landscape from a new viewpoint, second the flying of kites is good way to spend some time outdoors learning the ways of the wind. Most of the time we tend not to raise our eyes to the sky, most of what concerns our lives is firmly earthbound.  Choosing to look at where we live from the sky can be as easy as browsing Google Earth but what we see there gets fuzzy and indistinct when we look closely at the details of the landscape, recording from the much lower viewpoint a kite offers us a much closer to how we experience the world, just different enough to be new and involving.

KAP groupHow is this a community activity? The best outcomes are from the combined efforts of teamwork: a kite flier and a photographer. As a group activity a variety of outcomes are possible: with patience and a good number of photos an aerial panorama is possible by building up a montage of images, large scale photo-maps are  also made by fitting a ‘carpet’ of images together. By flying several kites together (at a safe distance apart!) surprisingly rich records of the locale are achieved.

What’s special about kite aerial pictures? Simply put it’s the resolution. At the height of the kite patterns and textures are uniquely visible.

Aldreth Causeway High BridgeIs it safe? Because every site has different hazards KAP needs careful planning. This is where I come in: I have been doing this professionally for 5 years now and a risk assessment is made for each location prior to agreeing a safe method of working.  The risks are small but real, kites can give you line burn, make you run backwards into things and end up tangled in trees or worse. Depending on  group ability and desired outcome location and timing are chosen carefully to manage risk. Compared to playing in a football match flying a kite is safe!

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Why is this part of Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership? The opportunity to provide the project with arresting images of the landscape acquired by community groups is valuable: to see the landscape from above is revealing, to be part of the process is rewarding. As the project develops many images of habitat, land-use, art projects and event records, are needed to illustrate the landscape on sign-age, site interpretation and web pages.

Drying Washes PymoorCommunity KAP is a project funded by OWLP and is now live, so let’s get started, I’m available for demonstration, talks, risk assessment and project planning for your group!

 

Related OWLP posts:

Ouse Washes LP scheme Launched

LogosApril 2014 has finally arrived and the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme has now officially been launched!

Tuesday night, representatives of the 26 key Partner organisations within the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership  came together for a celebratory event. This was held appropriately along the Ouse Washes itself at the base of the banks along the Old Bedford River. Under a beautiful and warm sky, partners shared experiences and further confirmed their excitement and willingness to cooperate to make the OWLP scheme a great success for the area and its local communities.

 

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Representatives from the key partners coming together near the Old Bedford.

 

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Projects will start very soon

Over the next few months, a whole range of projects will start delivering. Almost all of our 25 projects will already start in the next six months. To give you a flavour of what to expect this spring and summer from the Partnership:

  • Work will start on replacing and enhancing the signage and interpretation at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes - Our ‘Giving Nature a Home at Fen Drayton Lakes’ project, led by the RSPB.
  • Two community archaeological digs will be coordinated this summer near Earith – Our ‘Digging Environment and Ouse Washes Community Archaeology’ project, led by Cambridge Archaeological Unit.
  • Outdoor murals will be created at Mepal Outdoor Centre, WWT Welney reserve and the Denver Sluice Complex – our ‘Ouse Community Heritage’ project, led by ADeC.
  • Work will start on new interpretation, a new wildlife film and changes to the Pond Room at WWT Welney Reserve – our ‘Great Ouse Wetland Engagement’ project, led by the WWT.
  • A Pond dipping platform will be installed at Manea Pit – Our Manea Community Conservation project, led by Manea Parish Council.
  • A Biodiversity survey will be carried out in the arable regions to the East of the Ouse Washes – Our ‘Ditch Management to the East of the Ouse Washes’ project, led by Cambridgeshire ACRE in close cooperation with the Fenland Ditch Group.
  • We will launch our ‘Community Heritage Fund’ scheme – this will provide community groups with the opportunity to apply for grants between £500 and £2,000 to carry out additional projects in local communities.
  • A community group will create an animated film about the creation of the Ouse Washes and its natural history – Our project ‘Tales of Washes, Wildfowl and Water’, led by Fens Museum Partnership.
  • Our ‘Community Warden Scheme’ will start providing accredited training for young people and adults in wetland management – to be delivered by Green Light Trust, in cooperation with other organisations including NACRO and MIND.
  • Volunteer will be trained up to undertake recording of migrant work experiences and research into historic migration – Our project ‘Migrant Links’, led by Rosmini Centre.
  • Our ‘Fen Folk, Legends and Heroes’ project aims to work with all parishes in the area to encourage local communities to research stories of the local people who have shaped the area’s development in fact and fiction – led by Cambridgeshire Association for Local History, together with Mike Petty
  • Our ‘Hidden Story Trails: Virtual Geocaching Trails’ project will also bring together local communities in order to encourage further physical and intellectual access to the Ouse washes LP area – led by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Some more information about these and the partnership’s other projects can be found in our OWLP synopsis document, downloadable from our Resources pages

How to get involved

As you can see from the above, selective, list of projects there will be something for everyone. For a large number of the above projects, we hope that local people will get involved to deliver the scheme, in the process learning more about the unique Ouse Washes heritage and obtaining new skills in the process.

We will keep you up-to-date of what’s going on and how you can get involved through this blog, our website (due to appear in July), our Twitter pages and through news articles in the local and regional media and in parish magazines. Hope to see you soon.

 

Related posts:

Torn asunder – The Fenland Parish of Coveney

LogosThe Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) area is fully of fascinating local stories, the ‘hidden heritage’ of local community stories.

The following was kindly provided to me a while ago by Rev. Peter Taylor, who is Honorary Priest-in-charge of Coveney and Rural Dean of Ely; he represents the Diocese of Ely on the OWLP Board.

Coveney’s church

Coveney is typical of many fen edge and fen island parishes. The high ground of the island has provided the location for the main settlement and year-round agriculture, and which was combined with a hinterland of fen marshland.

The church was built on the highest point of the island. Originally a simple rectangular structure erected in first half of the 13th century, a porch and the first two stages of the tower were added during the following century. The tower was completed in the 15th century and no further significant changes took place for 400 years.

Coveney Church

The Church of St Peter ad Vincula, Coveney. Image reproduced with kind permission from Rev. Peter Taylor.

Manea was part of the Coveney parish

The fen hinterland extended some 5 miles northwards to include the low-lying island of Manea. Initially, this land was not reliably dry all year round, but did provide valuable summer grazing. Gradually, with lowering sea levels and some improvement in drainage, a small settlement became established.

Communication was straightforward. A waterway ran from the edge of Coveney island to Downham Hythe. From there, the Ox Lode crossed the fen to Manea before linking up with other waterways around Chatteris.

The ambitious drainage schemes of the 17th century cared nothing for such ancient water highways. The digging of the two Bedford Rivers severed the Ox Lode rendering it useless and cut the ancient parish of Coveney in half.

Revd Richard Taylor’s 1830 diary

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Revd. Richard Taylor. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Taylor_(missionary)

 Something of the inconvenience this caused can be gleaned from the journal of the Revd Richard Taylor who was Curate of Coveney in the 1830s. He records frequent journeys to minister to his parishioners in Manea which involved crossing the New Bedford river by boat, walking half a mile across the washes, crossing the Old Bedford river and then walking a further two miles to Manea.

 

 

 

 

Returning on one occasion late in the evening, he discovered the ferryman had gone to bed and spent almost an hour trying to raise him from the far bank. Then as now, the washes were frequently flooded and in February 1833 Taylor records taking a funeral in Manea and finding the water in the washes more than 3 feet deep at the shallowest point. That, together with the wind ‘rendered the passage very stormy’.

Going down under

Richard Taylor left Coveney in 1836 to go as a missionary to New Zealand where he was subsequently involved in drawing up the Treaty of Waitangi. To find out more about Richard Taylor’s involvement down under, see http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t22/taylor-richard

He had been a strong advocate for separate pastoral provision for the two halves of Coveney parish. Eventually, with the break up of the ancient manorial estates in 1883, Manea became a parish in its own right thus formalising the division which the Ouse Washes had created some two centuries earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related posts:

 

Wildlife Safaris at WWT Welney reserve

LogosComing up soon at WWT Welney Wetland Centre: Wetland Safaris!

Put it in your diary already – first one coming up on Easter Bank Holiday, Monday 21 April. For more information and to see what else is on, check the WWT Welney’s website at http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/whats-on/

Safaris at WWT Welney

 

Upcoming events at the OWLP wetland reserves

LogosSpring is definitely in the air, and many new events are being organised in the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area’s wetland reserves.

This Saturday 22 March (tomorrow, from 2-5, you can join the Warden at RSPB Ouse Fen for a ‘Reedbed Ramble’, to find out all about the ongoing conversion of the Hanson Quarry into a wetland habitat:

For more information, see: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-354396

Next week Sunday 30 March, WWT Welney is organising a special Mother’s Day lunch; make sure to book early:

Mothers Day WWT Welney 2014

for more information, see also: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/whats-on/2014/03/30/mothers-day-lunch/

More walking can be done at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes on Tuesday 4 April,  from 2 to 3 PM, for an organised Health Walk: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-359203

Fen Drayton Lakes Great Crested Grebes @Neildethridge Mar 13 2014

Fen Drayton Lakes: Great Crested Grebes. Picture by Neil Dethridge @Neildethridge March 2014

OWLP: Our Plans for Delivery

LogosLately many people have asked me what exactly the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership has planned.

I am conscious that, so far, we have not given lots of details of the delivery phase activity programme. Following a year of research and community consultations, we have, so far, made it clear what we are trying to achieve; have told you who are involved in the OWLP scheme; and who we aim to target with this scheme.

Now the HLF has granted the partnership the money to get the delivery phase going, it is time to reveal more of what exactly we are now going to do.

The OWLP Partnership projects

First of all, an overview of the 25 projects the partnership will deliver as part of the OWLP scheme (click on the image to enlarge):

Projects overview listAs most of the 25 projects planned between now and March 2017 will already start this spring or summer, I will regular get information out to alert people of the partnership’s developments and of opportunities to get involved.

Scheme Summary Document

To start with, we have created a document which summarises the OWLP scheme to date. This condenses all research reports commissioned and our stage 2 application (including its main report, the Landscape Conservation Action Plan) into a 29-page document. This also gives a quick overview of all 25 projects: who is doing what, with a short outline of the projects. Please find it here to download (PDF, 3.5 MB):

Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme_March 2014

Let me know what you think. Do also contact me if you would like to know more about specific projects or would like to get involved.

Your chance to work in the OWLP team – recruiting now!

LogosWe are recruiting!

This is your chance to make a real difference to the landscape, wildlife, heritage and communities in and around the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme’s area.

These are exciting times for us. Having received the excellent news from the Heritage Lottery Fund only a week ago that the HLF grants the OWLP scheme its stage 2 bid, we are now ready to expand the central OWLP team. Cambridgeshire ACRE, as the lead partner in the OWLP partnership, is now recruiting two people:

  • Countryside Engagement Officer. This is a full-time post (37 hrs/wk); contract until March 2017.
  • Programme Support Officer. this is a part-time post (21 hrs/wk) post; contract until December 2016.

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Where to find more information and how to apply:

Closing date and interviews:

  • The closing date for both jobs is noon on Friday 4 April 2014.
  • Initial interviews will be held at Cambridgeshire ACRE’s offices in Littleport on Thursday 10 April (for the ‘Countryside Engagement Officer’ position) and on 11 April (for the ‘Programme Support Officer’ position).

You would like to know more?

Besides the information you can find in the various pages and posts on this OWLP blog, also visit the OWLP’s page on the Cambridgeshire ACRE’s website.

For an informal discussion, you can also contact me, the OWLP Programme Manager, at 01353 865030 or mark.nokkert@cambsacre.org.uk.