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.

Capture 6


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:


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:

10,000 and counting

Heritage Lottery FundA bit faster even than I expected, we reached 10,000 hits on our blog on Wednesday. The month-on-month increase in hits and followers shows that there is a need and thirst for the type of information the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership is providing.

I thought it might be a good moment to take stock: What have people actually been reading? Who are our readers? And are any patterns visible, helping us to improve the blog? First of all a few stats:


The below graph shows our gradual increase in hits – the dip at the end is only because we still got 8 days to go this month, so will very likely end up higher than last month.


Gradual increase in hits on the blog.

The average hits per month have also gone up – since the start of the development phase in December 2012 it has increased from 12 to 46 hits per day on average:

Average per day

Popular posts

Most popular posts all-time – ‘your top 10′:

1. Earith Bridge: modern and historic works to the structure

2. Hidden Heritage: Mepal Airfield

3. Conference Invitation

4. People and Legacy: our Vision for the Ouse Washes

5. ‘Ours was the Fen Country’

6. The Lost Fens

7. Audience Engagement and Access Improvements

8. High in the Sky: Heritage & Landscape photography from above

9. Tenders sought for Landscape Character Assessment

10. Distinctiveness: A Local Perspective

10. Ouse Washes Roads Flooded once more (equal number of hits as the previous)

Judging from the above, we may perhaps conclude that people are primarily interested in:

  • Local ‘issues’: flooding; bridge repairs
  • Local, hidden heritage: Mepal Airfield
  • Local landscape character: Landscape Character Assessment; Distinctiveness; kite aerial photography
  • Community & development phase work: Audience & Access Planning; Vision; Conference
  • Cultural heritage – The Lost Fens; Ours was the Fens country

Our audience

The most surprising bit is perhaps the information as to where people come from. People who have looked at the blog come from an amazing 53 different countries across the world:

where from

The vast majority, 94%, of our visitors come from the United Kingdom, with frequent visitors also from The Netherlands; United States; France; Australia; Canada; Portugal; and the Russian Federation.

What do you make of it?

As part of the delivery phase, starting in April 2014, we will also have a dedicated website – the blog will nevertheless continue to be used throughout the next 3 years, to interact with our audience; that’s you. We are keen to hear from you if you think there are ways we could improve on the blog.

Conference Invitation

Heritage Lottery FundWe are currently in the ‘development phase’ (Development Phase has commenced) of the Ouse Washes LP Scheme (About Ouse Washes LP). This involves research and planning to ensure that the scheme is as effective as possible when the delivery phase begins in 2014.

We will be holding a conference on 5th September 2013 at The Maltings, Ely, where we will be providing an update on the latest developments of the scheme. Topics will include:

• Landscape Characterisation and Future Management (Distinctiveness:
A local Perspective)
• Audience and Access – Barriers and Opportunities (Audience
Engagement and Access Improvements)

The title of this conference, ‘Finding Character and Audiences’ reflects the above topics. As part of the development phase we have been seeking feedback from stakeholders and the wider community, finding out what people value about the landscape and how they might be encouraged to engage further with the landscape and its heritage.

An important element of the conference will be a series of workshops. These will provide an opportunity for discussions surrounding the legacy of the scheme and the future management of this fascinating landscape.

A large focus of the scheme is on community involvement, as this is key to providing a future for the landscape, its heritage and the people who live here. That’s why we want to get as many people involved as possible. If you have an interest in the landscape do come along to this free conference, and please pass this on to anyone else you think may be keen to attend.

Our preliminary programme:

Ouse Washes LP Conference 05 09 2013 preliminary details

Booking form:

Ouse Washes LP Conference 05 09 2013 booking form

Bill Blake Heritage Documentation All Rights Reserved

Ouse Washes: A distinct landscape character. Bill Blake Heritage Documentation All Rights Reserved

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

Our Communications Strategy: what do you think?

Heritage Lottery FundThe Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership consists of a wide range of partner organisations, all working towards a common goal. what we are trying to achieve will also reach a range of audience types.

In order to ensure that we communicate in the most effective and appropriate way with our different audiences, we have recently created a Communications Strategy.

We are very keen to hear from you – our audience – to see what you think about our communications strategy:

Ouse Washes LP scheme – Communications Strategy

This document explains:

1. Which are our key audiences;

2. How we aim to communicate with each audience type;

3. What are the key messages we aim to convey to each audience type.

We have identified ten key audience types; these are:

  • Our Funders
  • Project Board Members/organisations
  • Project Delivery Partners/organisations
  • Wider Partner Forum
  • Residents & Community groups in villages & surrounding market towns
  • Farmers & landowners
  • Owners/managers of Tourism Businesses in the area
  • User Groups & Visitors to the area
  • Local Media
  • Rest of the world (with an interest in the Ouse Washes area)

Our Communications Strategy is a ‘living document’ and will regularly be updated – and expanded upon -, with improvements following audience feedback through our community consultations and other routes.

So, please have a look at our current version and let us know what you think; thank you:

Ouse Washes LP scheme – Communications Strategy