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

 

Free Swan Researcher Workshops with WWT Welney

logosWould you like to become a trained volunteer with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust? Look no further!

 

As part of the WWT Welney Wetlands Centre’s project within the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnerships scheme, called ‘Species Identification & Monitoring’, a series of workshops are now being organised so that you can also become a trained swan researcher – join the WWT Welney at 21 or 22 November:

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Or download the poster here: Swan ring reading workshop 1

 

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New job with RSPB for Ouse Washes LP scheme – now open

logosFollowing from previous staffing posts created for the WWT, Green Light Trust and for the Rosmini Centre, a fourth position with the OWLP key partners is now made available through the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme – with the RSPB, who is looking for a Community Engagement Officer.

This is an exciting opportunity to work closely with local farmers and conservation organisations, to help promote and enhance wildlife friendly farming in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

This position will be crucial to the delivery of the RSPB project within the OWLP scheme called ‘Wildlife Friendly Farming & Community Engagement’; the main aim, of this project is to bring wildlife-friendly farmers together in the vicinity of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area, to deliver an integrated community engagement programme designed to promote awareness of, learning about and on-going access to the area’s unique farm wildlife and archaeological heritage.

 

The post, which went live on Monday, is described as such:

We are looking for an enthusiastic and engaging person to grow our farm wildlife conservation efforts in the Cambridgeshire Fens, by increasing awareness, understanding and support for nature-friendly farming in the local community.

The RSPB has been successful in securing Heritage Lottery funding as part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, to help local people reconnect with a rich natural and cultural farmland heritage.

You will work closely with local nature-friendly farmers to design and deliver a programme of events, talks and wildlife ID training for local residents, schools and farmers.

By encouraging people of all ages to engage with their landscape through farm walks and activities, you will build support for nature-friendly farming and local producers, and enable farmers to tell the story of their work and the benefits for wildlife, ensuring continued support in the future,

An excellent communicator, you will have demonstrable experience of organising public events, as well as in-depth knowledge of farm wildlife and the challenges it faces.

With an office base at Welches Dam, Manea, you will be expected to undertake regular travel in the local area and elsewhere within the Fens.

 

The closing date for applications is 20 October 2014.

For the full job details and finding out how to apply, go to http://www.rspb.org.uk/vacancies/details/383486-community-engagement-officer

local kids on a bug hunt on a wildlife-friendly farm

Families on a bug hunt on a wildlife-friendly farm. Image: copyright Niki Williamson / RSPB.

 

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!

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Time of day

Lovely images from Bill Blake of the Earith Civil War Bulwark – captured – through kite aerial photography – as part of the work he does for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme including for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit’s project to take place around this location in a month or so.

Billboyheritagesurvey's Blog

I’m shooting an earthwork monument for photogrammetry, and its taken months of patient work by the team at OWLP to get all the required consents, so as soon as I got the email from Natural England confirming permission and the cloud cleared, off I went, got there at 10am and flew for an hour.

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The results were disappointing, sure I got the cover, but this is a pale ghost of what I know to be there: most of the features I wanted to record were almost invisible. I returned on the same day at 6pm and tried to repeat the path. What a difference! Low light is much better than overhead. I knew this of course but had hoped the 10am shoot would have been just enough before noon to be effective. In August at this latitude it’s just not the case.

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Left:10am right 6pm

On the return that evening…

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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:

 

Job opportunity with Green Light Trust, for OWLP project delivery

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One of the key partner organisations within the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme (OWLP), Green Light Trust, is looking to fill a post to deliver their project within the OWLP scheme:

Green Light Trust is looking for tutors to deliver some sessional work as part of the Ouse Washes project.

Candidates should have a good working knowledge of wetland landscape conservation, have experience of tutoring, teaching or leading group work and have experience of working with vulnerable groups.

Please send a CV with covering letter to info@greenlighttrust.org by Friday 13th June.

 

More details about the work:

The OWLP project, the ‘Community Warden Scheme’ aims to recruit and train people to volunteer to take care of the local natural and built heritage in the OWLP area, with a specific focus on wetland habitat management.

As part of the job you would be leading a series of blocks of work for groups, where these groups spend one session per week for 7 weeks carrying out environmental conservation, principally within the grounds of the Mepal Outdoor Centre. You will be working with two different participant groups; disengaged young people and those experiencing mental ill health.

All participants will have the opportunity to work towards a John Muir Award and/or an accredited conservation qualification. Each block will comprise 6 tutored sessions followed by one volunteering session within a local nature reserve. There will be a total of 6 blocks for Young People, working with a Pupil Referral Unit, and 6 blocks with adults experiencing mental ill health. These blocks will be spread across 2014, 2015 & 2016.

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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

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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.

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.

 

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