The new Ouse Washes LP Website is Live!!

Today is a very exciting day as we are finally able to share our new website with the world!

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Website screen capture home page 18 12 2014

Please pass on the message to others: www.ousewashes.org.uk

 

This website is intended to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for local people and visitors to explore the Ouse Washes Landscape:

  • Explore the Ouse Washes LP area’s tourist attractions, nature reserves and museums in more detail through our interactive Explore map;
  • Find out what’s going on in the area through our What’s on section;
  • Find out how you can get involved through our projects, events and our volunteering options in our Get Involved section
  • Find out what makes the Ouse Washes LP area special, by reading through our Discover section;
  • The Ouse News is our old WordPress blog incorporated in this new website – keep up to date of all new events, project development and information about the area though this newsreel
  • And a lot more – go on, find out for yourself!

 

Do let us know what you think about the new website – we want this to be useful for you, so please help us make things better – drop us a line through the Contact section.

 

Happy reading!

 

Press release: Press release_New website for Ouse Washes Landscape now live!

Denver Sluice Complex, one of the key hubs in the Ouse Washes Landscape area. Image: Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation

Denver Sluice Complex, one of the key hubs in the Ouse Washes Landscape area. Image: Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation

 

Our Mini-Crusades into Projects and Events with Our Partners

The entry into mosaic-making at Mepal Outdoor Centre: Sourced by Nathan Jones
The entry into mosaic-making at Mepal Outdoor Centre. Source: Nathan Jones

Myself and Abby involved and enjoyed ourselves with a couple of events lately – the Community Murals Project at Mepal last Thursday and the RSPB “Your local home for Nature” event at Fen Drayton on the Sunday. We went on behalf of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership team wearing our OWLP T-shirts to support the project and our partners. logos

I helped out with creating the clouds in the mural, which was becoming a fantastic piece. It began to stunningly show the landscape and its wildlife in a large mosaic of beautiful flakes, jewel-like pieces and many colours. From its half-completion upon our entry at Mepal Outdoor Centre, it was quickly getting pulled together during the afternoon we were there, and I couldn’t wait to see the finished product! Few mothers and their children were hard at work being creative with glue, cutters and boxes of mosaics. We filled in the pictures drawn onto the marine plywood base and talked about the work in progress under the attentive guidance of artist Carolyn Ash. Several people came and went to admire or help out, and Abby took photographs, a video, notes and interviews to evaluate the event. They expressed positive enthusiasm and fun in the activity that brought out more understanding and appreciation of the landscape we are promoting.

In the process of the creation and evaluation of the mural and the workshop at Mepal. Sourced by Lizzie Bannister

In the process of the creation and evaluation of the mural and the workshop at Mepal. Source: Lizzie Bannister

We were back into our T-shirts the following weekend as part of the RSPB open day event at Fen Drayton.  I have often sped past on the Guided Busway, so it was great to be able to be on site for a change. We offered tasters of Ouse Washes Honey produced by Robert Taylor from Manea, and our mug game with Ouse Washes messages and jelly worms. We gave out promotional postcards with our contact details and website address under our banners and with the Heritage Lottery Fund posters. We explained and engaged people into our OWLP scheme, including about the Community Heritage Fund. We served tea, involved children to draw ideas they have about the Ouse Washes landscape and I stuck on alot of our OWLP stickers!

An example of work we got the people involved - to draw on postcards for the next murals event

An example of work we got the people involved – to draw on postcards for the next two murals event (this example was drawn at Mepal, the first mural event). Source: Nathan Jones

I also helped out the RSPB by making dragonflies with children and met some lovely RSPB people at this small event. I would be glad to come back again and explore more of Fen Drayton and build up my experience promoting OWLP at future public events.

Great artwork for us at our RSPB Fen Drayton open day stand! Sourced by Abby Stancliffe-Vaughan

Great artwork for us at our RSPB Fen Drayton open day stand! See the lovely dragonflies on the table too… Source: Abby Stancliffe-Vaughan

See the next event the OWLP team will be at, which is Haddenham Steam Rally on the 6th September!

Related posts:

Have a meander along your river

Do you live in or near Welney, Denver, March or Ely? They have something in common… Can you guess what they all have? Rivers! They all have their own character and issues. Would you like to enjoy and learn about your local Fenland rivers?

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This is a chance to enjoy a lovely, informative and sociable walk along some of our local rivers whilst discussing and gaining an understanding of issues and impacts upon these and other Fenland rivers and on the Ouse Washes. It will be a laid-back endeavour with stops to view the scenery and features, or to chat and take photographs.

The Ouse Washes

The Ouse Washes. Image by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, all rights reserved.

A partnership (The Water Care Partnership) is working to investigate and work towards solutions for the problems these rivers face and which have been pointed out by the Environment Agency. This is where you and your ideas and involvement comes in! It is important to consider local communities’ perspectives and skills in the care and management of these valuable natural resources.

Everyone and anyone are welcome on these ‘Riverside Walks and Talks’ however the walks may not be suitable for some people like wheelchair users. Light refreshments will be provided and you can find out how to get involved with protecting your local environment.

There are four walks around the area, all of which will be approximately 2 miles and may take up to 2.5 hours.

Welney – Sunday 14th September 10am

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at Welney

River Delph at Welney

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Welney

Ely – Sunday 14th September 2pm

“Our part in the bigger picture”

River at Ely

River Great Ouse at Ely

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Ely

Denver – Saturday 20th September 10am

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at Denver

The Tidal River and New Bedford River at Denver

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – Denver

March – Saturday 20th September 2pm

“A catchment based approach to the Old Bedford and Middle Level catchment”

River at March

River Nene at March

Riverside Walk and Talk Invitation – March

Bookings are now being taken for the Riverside Walk and Talk events hosted by Cambridgeshire ACRE for the Water Care Partnership. Places are limited and so to book your place(s), please visit: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/walkandtalk. For more information on the work of the Water Care Partnership please visit www.watercarepartnership.wordpress.com. If you have any questions regarding any of the walks, please contact Jennie Thomas (Jennifer.thomas@cambsacre.org.uk or 01353 865044).

Landscape Conservation Action Plan for the Ouse Washes LP area

LogosFollowing on from a previous post giving an overview of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership’s 25 projects which the OWLP partnership aims to deliver between now and 2017, we can now also proudly present our Landscape Conservation Action Plan!

The Landscape Conservation Plan (or LCAP) is the Ouse Washes LP partnership’s main document that was sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund, together with other paperwork for our stage 2 grant submission, back in November 2013; in short, it contains:

  • A summary of the varied heritage of the OWLP landscape, explaining what is important and why;
  • An overview of the issues facing the landscape, its heritage and its communities, together with an outline of the opportunities to address these issues;
  • A detailed understanding of how the OWLP scheme will be addressing the needs of the landscape and communities, together with details of the projects it will carry out in order to do so and to meet the four LP programme outcomes;
  •  Details of how the OWLP scheme aims to provide lasting benefits for the landscape and its communities.

Download the LCAP here

The full Landscape Conservation Action Plan can be downloaded here (or from our Resources section):

The whole process of the LCAP could be summarised as such:

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Happy reading!

 

Related posts and pages:

 

Ouse Washes LP Projects: Our delivery schedule

LogosA little while back we have given an overview of the projects we are delivering as part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme.

NEW: Project Timeline

We have now also created an overview of the expected outputs of all 25 projects within the OWLP scheme, showing what will be delivered during each of the coming 12 quarters, until March 2017.

This project timeline can be found in our Resources section and can also be downloaded here: Timeline OWLP Projects Overview_June 2014

 

Project Locations

The below map gives some indication as to where the various projects will be carried out. the green dots on the map, however, only show those projects which are very location-specific. Beyond these, some projects will be happening in a variety of places and have not been shown on this map. Nevertheless, it shows that we endeavour to deliver something in each part of the OWLP area, to ensure that everybody will have a chance to get involved in his exciting scheme.

OWLP Project locations

Locations where a selection of the 25 projects will be delivered, across the length and breadth of the OWLP landscape area. Map © Crown Copyright and database rights 2013 Cambridgeshire County Council Ordnance Survey License 100023205.

 

Projects & their Aims

The below project overviews each tell a slightly different story of what the OWLP partnership is trying to achieve over the next three years:

OWLP projects and HLF Programmes overview

The 25 OWLP projects against the HLF budget allocation and three delivery years of the scheme. Note: ‘A’ = Conservation work; ‘B’ = Community Participation; ‘C’ = Learning & Access promotion; ‘D’ = Skills training provision

 

  •  The 25 OWLP projects against our Strategic Aims and Objectives (click on table for better view):Capture 4
  • The 25 OWLP Projects against our five Themes (click on table for better view):
The 25 OWLP projects set against the four HLF programmes and the five main Themes for the scheme.

The 25 OWLP projects set against the four HLF programmes and the five main Themes for the scheme.

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What next?

All our project delivery partners are busy getting ready for delivery of their projects, with some projects already doing so. See this previous post for some of the things that can be expected over the next few months.

 

Related posts and pages:

 

New Resources added to download

LogosI recently gave a couple of presentations, which made me think that we are due an update of a presentation about the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme for this blog.

So, please find in our Resources section a new PowerPoint presentation, explaining our scheme and what we are trying to do.

If you would like me, or one of my colleagues, to come over to your community group/parish council/organisation to give a presentation about the OWLP scheme, or if you would like us to have a stall at your community event this summer, by all means please contact me; thank you.

Thanks to @SuttonIsle for duplicating the PP presentation on Dropbox – it may be quicker to download it through this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kibdnbt7j8u5tp3/owlp-pp-presentation-may-2014_for-blog.pdf

2A

Workers from the Harrison family coppicing osier willows on Holt Island on the Great Ouse in St Ives. This was one of many locations up and down the river where willow was grown commercially for the basket-making business. J. Harrison & Son was founded by John Harrison in 1877. Image © Harrison family/Charlotte Jordan. Image kindly provided by Ian Jackson, St Ives Town Councillor.

A New Face Joins the Team.

LogosHello

My name is Jonathan Jarvis and on 1st May I joined the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership as its newest member of staff.


One of the sluices at Denver

One of the sluices at the Denver complex

 

New to the Area

As someone who is new to the area (both geographically and in terms of the type of project we’re running) I am looking forward with great excitement to learning about the area around my new home.

 

Although I have joined the team to deal with the financial claims processing in relation to the Heritage Lottery Funding, I am very keen to learn about the area, its history and its unique features, and to get involved in the project in as many different ways as possible. I have already enjoyed some excursions in and around schemes which will be supported by the project, and I have enjoyed every one.

I’m also greatly looking forward to getting volunteers involved in the program, and doing my best to pass on some of the enthusiasm I feel for opening up the area to local people and visitors.

The sluice at Denver - controlling the flow

The sluice at Denver – controlling the flow

Those involved in the project may well encounter me dealing with any general project enquiries or offering assistance anywhere to ‘help out’.

 

Meet and Greet

I hope to meet those involved in the project soon and look forward to working with them in relation to their diverse interests and areas of expertise.

 

Circular ~ Walks and Rides

I will also be taking on the responsibility for our circular walk blogs, so if you know of any good circular walks in the area – one of those well kept secrets! – please do let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it into the series.

Plaque dedicated to 350 years of flood alleviation begun by Vermuyden

Plaque dedicated to 350 years of flood alleviation begun by Vermuyden

 

I will be in the office on a part-time basis: every week Monday to Wednesday.

Jono blog picture

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.

Our Audience Profile

LogosAs part of 2013’s development-phase works we have been trying to get a grip on who the audiences should be for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme. Here I aim to give you a better understanding of where we are with this.

Understanding our audience

Happy team. 11 peoples. Isolated.

Source: istock

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s definition of an audience is ‘a group of people with identifiable characteristics who may be involved with your heritage now or who could be involved in future’.

Understanding your audience profile is important for any organisation or business, perhaps even more so for time-limited projects such as the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme: getting the right people engaged means that the scheme can deliver more benefits, there where they are needed most.

As such, work on defining our audience has been an essential part of the commissioned Audience & Access Development work and was also a central theme at our September conference. Talking to a wide range of stakeholders has further refined our understanding.

The population in the OWLP area

337-LA-10 - Parish Boundaries

The OWLP area. Map created by Sheils Flynn for OWLP. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 – not to be reproduced

The resident population within the OWLP area is approximately 33,000; 95% of the population is white British. In addition, the surrounding market towns and cities of Downham Market, Littleport, Ely, Chatteris, March, St Ives, Huntingdon and Cambridge have a collective resident population of c237,000.

Who are we targeting?

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme is directed at all people living in, working in and visiting the Ouse Washes LP area and its surrounding communities. Realistically, though, we will have to focus our work – hence:

Our Audience Profile

What has come out of all our research? Well, for one, we have been able to identify eight key audience types:Audience Profile
Most people living in or around the OWLP area belong to at least one of these categories. If you want to know more about each audience type, their specific needs and how the OWLP will target each group, see this document: Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme_Target Audience

Below are a few quotes taken from this document which we have received from people who can either be classed as belonging to or who are referring to each of these audience types, showing the wide range of knowledge, values and engagement within each group, with information about the different issues that people have highlighted.

The quotes and other information collated has provided us with a good range of baseline data against we can measure change over time in people’s perception, knowledge, use of the landscape and heritage participation [On an aside, see also this post about the perception of and values attached to the OWLP landscape].

1. People who are uninspired by the landscape:

“I don’t find it particularly attractive, certainly the lack of trees”

 “It’s flat. It seems to lack interest. There’s not much to do there”

 “You have to discover beauty – it took me a few years to realise it is really pretty”

“I think it’s magical when it floods down the Gault”

Flooding at Sutton Gault

Flooding at Sutton Gault, January 2014. Source: @SuttonIsle

2. Young People & Families:

“The old people will know about it [The Washes] but the incomers and youngsters couldn’t care less, they haven’t been educated about it”

“My children kayak on the Ouse, really enjoyable”

“The birds are lovely to see and my children love spotting the bugs and lizards. It’s great to walk for a few minutes from my house and I’m in the countryside”

Walkers - Anthea Abbott and family - permissions granted

Family enjoying their day out at RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes. Image by Pete Johnstone, for Cambridgeshire ACRE

3. Incomers & New Communities:

“I don’t think many people know about [the Ouse Washes]. I didn’t know a thing about it until moving here a year ago”

“It [the Ouse Washes area] is a piece of green space in a country which is rapidly growing and developing”

4. Heritage Supporters:

“I love it all. The flatness with the beautiful sky-scapes. The history. The waterways”

“I enjoy finding out about the history of places”

“I come up here [Fen Drayton Lakes] 365 days a year”

Walkers - Ellie and Simon Trigg - permission granted

Enjoying the countryside. Image by Pete Johnstone, for Cambridgeshire ACRE

5. Farmers and landowners:

“On the whole the less visitors the better – less damage to the wildlife”

“[…]The landscape looks very much like private  land used for agricultural or other purposes and so it is not clear where we  can get out of a vehicle or other and roam without fear of being challenged”

River Great Ouse

Cattle along the Ouse, near Denver. Image by Pete Johnstone, for Cambridgeshire ACRE

6. Deprived Communities:

“We could have a nice circular walk that takes you down to the river and this would help relieve the stresses of modern life”

“It is very isolated unless you have a car”

7. Migrant Communities:

“I like the Englishness of the countryside [..]”

“Vermuyden did it [created the Washes] and used French prisoners of war”

8. Visitors:

“Denver Sluice is a lovely place to take visitors as part of a tour of the local area, e.g.,
including Denver Mill, Denver Church and the pub”

“The washes needs to be made much more distinctive so you know when you are in the Ouse Washes […] It should be a local ‘brand’ that all local people are proud of and identify with”

“I think it is unique but it would be far better if people knew about it and opening up would attract more people”

Denver Windmill. Image: Cambridgeshire ACRE

What do you think about this?

Are we on the right track, or would there still be room for improvement? let us know what you think – Thanks.

Related posts: