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

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HLF: come to Fens Funding session in Chatteris on 20th

LogosHeritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will be at Age UK, Chatteris on Thursday 20 February.

Find out about HFL funding options for your project ideas

You can book a session to find out about the funding we have available, our application process and discuss any project ideas you may have.

What projects does HLF fund?

HLF funds a broad range of activities that help people of all ages explore their heritage together. These can range from small scale events, exhibitions and workshops to larger projects that include training, volunteering, conservation and restoration.

Heritage means many things to different people.  Heritage Lottery funds projects from £3,000 upwards, for activities that include:

  • Exploring histories of individuals, communities, places, events and historic anniversaries
  • First World War
  • natural habitats and species
  • community archaeology
  • collections of items, archives or other materials
  • industrial, maritime and transport history
  • historic buildings and structures, including listed places of worship

How do I book a session?

To book a one to one advice session, please phone Rachel Fuller on 01223 224880.

 This event is supported by Cambridge CVS http://www.cambridgecvs.org.uk

The Fens Waterways Link

Heritage Lottery FundThe Fens Waterways Link is one of the most significant waterway projects to take place in the UK for two centuries.  It will connect the Cathedral cities of Lincoln, Peterborough and Ely, opening up 240km of new and existing waterways.  It is hoped the project will put the Fens on the map as a nationally recognised destination, as well known as the Norfolk Broads.

The map below outlines the sections of waterway that will be improved/created by the scheme.  The Ouse Washes come into this area, as can be seen on the map.  Not only are the Fens Waterways Link and the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme closely related geographically, they also share common goals, aiming to promote heritage, conservation and community engagement.  (See here for the aims of the Ouse Washes LPS.)

Fens Waterways Link Map

In detail, the aims of the Fens Waterways Link are to:

  • Create opportunities for increased leisure, tourism and regeneration, attracting economic development and employment.
  • Develop a unique image of the Fens Waterways as a world-class tourist destination, a place for healthy activity in the great outdoors, and place to escape.
  • Open access to the rich heritage, culture and history of the fens through time.
  • Benefit the natural environment, linking major wetland sites, creating new habitats and supporting the future of our unique fenland wildlife.
  • Help improve water supplies and flood defences by improving our water storage, transfer and drainage infrastructure.
  • Provide a regional water-based transport corridor for people and freight.
  • Give local people a sense of ownership of their local waterways as a place of belonging with rich opportunities for recreation, enjoyment and healthy activities.
  • Promote waterways as a venue for learning, training and skills development, providing opportunities for people of all ages to engage with their environment.
  • Enable visitors, businesses and other community members to become champions for the waterways at the heart of local communities.
Black Sluice Lock, Boston Photo courtesy of www.canalplan.org.uk

Black Sluice Lock, Boston
Source: http://canalplan.org.uk/gazetteer/5o1m

The project is divided into six phases.  Phase 1, Boston Lock Link, was completed in 2009.  This involved the opening of Black Sluice Lock (map item 1), thereby providing access to 35km of navigation which had been closed for 50 years.  The disused lock cottages were turned into a visitor centre and café, and new moorings were created.  Other improvements include picnic areas, footpaths/cycleways, fishing platforms, fish refuges and sand martin banks.

The Ouse Washes LP area is within Phase 6 of the project: ‘Peterborough to Denver Link – linking the River Nene across the Middle Level Navigations to the River Great Ouse’.  Details have not yet been finalised, but it is hoped that the following developments will be possible.

  • The Denver Hydro Hub would provide an array of information and activities for visitors.  Using existing rights of way, a number of circular routes would be created.  There would also be opportunities for bike, boat and canoe hire and boat trips.
  • New Hundred Foot Tidal River moorings near Mepal and Welney, allowing access to attractions such as WWT Welney, and providing the opportunity for boat trips to operate.
  • The Hermitage Lock Hydro Hub at Earith would involve commercial redevelopment of the lock keeper’s house, e.g. restaurant, holiday let, cycle hire, car parking.
  • Improving navigation around Welches Dam to better connect the Great Ouse system with the Middle Level Navigations.  Currently Welches Dam Lock is closed, so access between the Old Bedford River and the Forty Foot is not possible.

An implementation plan was created in 2004, and at that time the Link as a whole
was expected to take 15-20 years to complete.  Construction costs were estimated at £130 million, partly funded by the Environment Agency and partly from other sources.  In 2004 funds had been allocated for the initial stages of the project, and further funding was being investigated from possible sources such as local authorities, the Lottery and the European Union.  Although the current economic climate has impacted on the delivery of the Link, work is progressing.

More information about the Link can be found at: http://www.fenswaterways.com/

Crowd Funding the Environment

Heritage Lottery Fund[This is a guest blog post by Pete Johnstone]

It is always pleasing but rare these days to see new funding opportunities to support environmental and community improvements come into being. Many grants schemes have either disappeared, have been cut back, or if they do survive are often heavily oversubscribed by potential applicants. Or perhaps worse still the grant funds that do exist don’t actually fit what you want to raise money for in the first place.

Well, all is not lost, crowd funding is the new kid on the block and a phenomena that deserves further investigation. Crowd funding is essentially online fundraising, with its roots in the United States, it has over the past few years typically supported a whole range of start-up businesses and one of projects such as in film, music and art.

Crowd funding is now big business, with crowd funding platforms having raised $2.7 billion in 2012 (Massolution 2013) and a prediction that this will rise to $5.1bn in 2013. In the UK, a recent report by NESTA estimates that crowd funding spending will rise to £14bn by 2016. The motivation for people investing in crowd funded projects varies greatly, from purely financial motives through to a desire to support a local issue of concern. Here the return on investment is more social or environmental based rather than in the form of money.

So what has this got to do with the Ouse Washes and the recently created Landscape Partnership Scheme Over the next few years as the project gets underway we will expect to see a greater coordination of activities between national and local bodies involved with this distinctive landscape, greater community participation and a host of practical improvements based around the heritage of this part of the Fens.

All these expected improvements and community interest will be good for the area but can we not build on this foundation and add another source of potential funding through crowd funding?

What is put up for crowd funding will largely depend on what is required and what is likely to receive public support. It could be a school nature garden, village playground improvements, access or environmental conservation work associated with the bird reserves. Of course as with any fund raising initiative there is no guarantee of success. Certainly once you have started fund raising for your chosen project there is hard work to come to bring it to people’s attention but nothing ventured nothing gained as the saying goes!

Spacehive is the UK’s first crowd funding platform for civic spaces and since launching a year ago has crowd funded a £1m of projects across the UK, empowering communities to transform their civic environment for the better. Although these projects have largely been town or city based there is potential to bring crowd funding to rural areas such as the Ouse Washes.

So is there any interest in setting up an initiative to crowd fund for improvements in Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area? If there is we would like to hear from you.

Flying swans

Flying swans – an iconic Ouse Washes species. Image by Pete Johnstone; all rights reserved.

Pete Johnstone runs PJ.elements his own Cambridgeshire based environmental business. He is an adviser to 2020VISION, the multimedia nature conservation initiative run by the Wild Media Foundation, adviser to Spacehive and has worked on a number of Landscape Partnership Schemes in East Anglia.

Would you also like to have a guest post on the Ouse Washes LP blog? Feel free to contact me to discuss your ideas.

More Funding opportunities

Heritage Lottery FundCommunity puzzleAs discussed in a previous post, there are multiple opportunities for local community groups to obtain grants for heritage-related projects.

As part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership we are keen to promote such opportunities, to empower local communities and to assure a sustainable legacy for the area.

Recently a very useful document has been produced by ‘the East of England Funders’, a group of 24 funding organisations. The resulting brochure highlights the latest information for funding opportunities in the East of England region; this is collated in a handy pdf which can be downloaded here:

EofE – funder list – web

 

Now is actually a good time to apply to get your ideas funded; an extract from the brochure which was launched at a conference held a few weeks ago makes this clear:

The purpose of this short publication is to confirm that despite the current economic

downturn we are still open for business and that funding is available for organisations

and projects that make a real difference to our communities and the lives of local

people. In fact many funders have actually increased the amount of money that they

have available in recognition of the tough times that the sector is facing

Advice Surgeries and Funding Fairs

Heritage Lottery FundAs engrained in our vision, the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership is keen to empower local community groups, in order for them to take forward the scheme’s ideals. Providing people with practical help as to how they can get their ideas funded forms an integral part of what we will be doing over the next four years.

Following on from my previous post, I spoke to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s representative for the Fens area, Rachel Fuller. She gave me some great advice which I would like to pass on to community groups in the area.

Do you have an idea for a heritage-related project and wonder whether the HLF might fund this? The Heritage Lottery Fund regularly holds pre-application advice surgeries in its Cambridge office. These are held twice-monthly throughout the year, with the next ones scheduled for 12 and 26 March. The HLF can offer hour-long appointments between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. Please look here for more dates and how to make an appointment.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will also be one of the organisations present at a Funding Fair on 18 March. This fair is organised by the Voluntary & Community Action East Cambs and will take place at the Lighthouse, 13 Lynn Road, Ely, between 3 and 7PM. Call Jo Black on 01353 666166 for more information. See also this flyer for more information.

Farmer laptop [istockphoto]

Get your ideas funded – call the HLF

The HLF has recently made several changes to their grant schemes whilst also introducing some new ones and simplifying some of the application and assessment processes. Have a look at their current grant schemes to find out what scheme fits your ideas and to find out how you might be able to get your project idea funded.

The HLF is particularly keen for new projects to come forward from the Fens. As the HLF has received relatively few applications from this area, it currently specifically targets the Fens to encourage more applicants to come forward. See this webpage for some previous projects from the Fens, to get an idea of what other community groups have been doing.

So, if you have an idea for a heritage project in the Ouse Washes area or surrounding Fens, contact Rachel Fuller, Heritage Lottery Fund Development Officer on 01223 224880 or send an email to rachelf@hlf.org.uk; she can then guide you through the process and give feedback on your ideas.

Let me know how you get on with your project ideas