Audience Engagement and Access Improvements

Heritage Lottery FundWho are our Audiences? How do people use the Ouse Washes landscape? How do people engage with the area’s unique heritage? What would people like to see changed?

These are just some of the questions which we will try to answer over the next few months. On behalf of the partnership for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, Cambridgeshire ACRE has just started to undertake a study focusing on the audiences & access for the scheme.

What will this entail? There will be three main components to the work:

  1. Desk-based research and surveys will provide comprehensive baseline data about the audiences who are utilising the Ouse Washes LP area, how these different audiences engage with the landscape and its heritage, and what access opportunities are in place;
  2. Extensive community consultations will provide information about how locals and visitors feel about the landscape and its heritage, and how they would like to engage with these;
  3. The production of an Audience & Access Development Plan will outline which audience types the Ouse Washes LP should target and where additional access and engagement opportunities could be created.

The resulting information will have multiple uses throughout the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme. Its main aim is to inform how the scheme could engage with a range of audiences to improve participation, learning and access. This information will also feed directly into the Landscape Conservation Action Plan (LCAP), which will form the core of the Stage 2 submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Birdwatcher at Sutton Gault

Bird watching at Sutton Ghault. Image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE

The information from this study will be used to understand our audiences, to:

  • Identify the audiences the programme will engage with;
  • Plan how the programme will reach existing audiences;
  • Plan how the programme will reach new audiences;
  • Identify and address the barriers to audience development;
  • Identify volunteering opportunities;
  • Provide baseline data on audience profile; visitor numbers; local engagement; volunteer engagement; audience attitudes, values, satisfaction, awareness and knowledge;
  •  Provide input into the Landscape Character Assessment and LCAP

Picking blackberries at Fen Drayton. Image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE

Access improvements for all. Image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE

The information from this study will also be used to understand access issues; to:

  • Recognise the barriers to access and how they could be addressed;
  • Identify opportunities for improving visitor facilities;
  • Identify opportunities for promoting and marketing the Ouse Washes LP area;
  • Provide baseline data on access opportunities and facilities

Want to know more? Our Audience & Access Development Plan proposal explains all of this in more detail:

Ouse Washes LP_Audience Access Plan

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This entry was posted in Access, Communication, Communities, Consultancy work, OWLP Strategy, 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.