People and Legacy: our Vision for the Ouse Washes

Heritage Lottery FundSome important decisions were made at our first Project Board meeting late last week, taking the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme to the next level. The Project Board consists of representatives from various partner organisations, together covering a wide range of interests: local communities; wildlife; historic environment; water management; farmers & land owners; public access; museums; and churches.

These Board Meetings take place every two months throughout the year; these are important focal points where decisions are made which concern the whole partnership.

One of the decisions made concerned the Vision, as well as the strategic Aims and Objectives for the whole of the LP scheme. A unanimous decision was made that we stick to the previously defined Vision, Aims and Objectives, as they were originally developed for the stage 1 bid. The Heritage Lottery Fund was particularly impressed with the stage 1 bid, as commented on in a previous post. This is also demonstrated in the HLF’s comments on our vision:

“The Scheme has a strong Vision … They have clearly given a lot of thought to it and I especially liked “A place that links the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future”, demonstrating they understand the importance of linking past experience with future activity (comment HLF appointed mentor, May 2012)”

Well, what’s our Vision? It is this:

The Ouse Washes will be:

A place managed for the needs of all its inhabitants and visitors,

A place for people to thrive and wildlife to flourish,

A place that links the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future.

Walkers - Anthea Abbott and family - permissions granted

Education

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership is, thus, very much focused on people – locals and visitors alike – and on leaving a clear legacy. This legacy, in the shape of a sustainable future for the landscape, its heritage and communities, will be based on a clear understanding of the past interactions of people with their environment in this landscape: by learning from the past, we can decide on the best future direction.

Swan Feeds at Welney

Training & Participation

Hence, education, training and community participation will form important elements of the scheme, in particular in all the projects which will take place during the Delivery phase (which starts in April 2014): education, to make people more aware of the uniqueness of this landscape; community participation, to provide a greater connection with the landscape and to provide a ‘sense of place’; and training, to provide people with skills in order to sustain the landscape’s special character.

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Providing for a sense of place

Read more about our Aims and Objectives, which follow logically from the overarching Vision, in this document:

Ouse Washes LPS_Vision Aims and Objectives

Further information about our aims for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership can be found on this page.

Let us know what you think: do you agree with the HLF’s comments? Is this indeed the right direction for the Ouse Washes? Has anything been overlooked?

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This entry was posted in Communities, OWLP Strategy, Partnership, Stage 2-Development Phase, Theme 5-Future Heritage and tagged , , , , , , , , , by markatousewasheslps. Bookmark the permalink.

About markatousewasheslps

I am currently coordinating a partnership-led bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (for a circa £600K Heritage Grant bid) focusing on strengthening the unique yet vulnerable natural heritage in the Cambridgeshire Fens surrounding the Old west River, the new 'New Life on the Old West' project. Until recently I was the Programme Manager for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, leading on the 1-year development and 3-year delivery phases of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant-aided Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) scheme (from Dec 2012 until March 2017), on behalf of and in close cooperation with a wide range of local, regional and national partner organisations. The Ouse Washes LP's portfolio of 51 projects have focused on: conservation works to historic and natural environmental assets; improving community participation & engagement with the landscape and its heritage; increasing access and learning opportunities; and providing more opportunities for training in traditional land management skills. The overall aim has been to leave a long-term legacy for this fascinating and unique landscape, in the process creating tangible improvements to social, economic and environmental aspects of this landscape, its heritage and communities.

3 thoughts on “People and Legacy: our Vision for the Ouse Washes

  1. The Vision looks fine, the key though for me is to sustain the improvements and to build on local capacity – there have been numerous fens projects in the past that have not followed through and their benefits short lived – just one example is the car park at Denver Sluice.

    • Pete, I agree; a key message throughout the development and delivery phases of the project will be that the Landscape Partnership should be seen as a starting point for active engagement with the local heritage, acting as a catalyst for a wide range of further initiatives taking the vision beyond the four years of the project. We aim to do this by, for instance, creating active local volunteer groups, encouraging stronger partnership working and by pointing out further fundraising opportunities to community groups. I am keen to hear from people through what other initiatives we could ensure a legacy for the Ouse Washes LP scheme.

      • Mark, one possible way of raising the profile,fundraising and potentially reaching a new audience who use social media is through crowd funding. I am helping Spacehive ( a UK crowd funder) who focus on public space projects to develop more projects with environmental organisations. Developing an on line community, as well as s physical one, around the Ouse Washes could be one way to strengthen the partnership – let me know if you would like for information and we can talk further – Pete

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