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

Nearly £1m granted to OWLP scheme!

LogosYes! It is in the bag!

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just announced that the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme will indeed receive £905,100 of HLF funding!

Since the partnership’s stage 2 bid in November 2013, the three files of paperwork we handed in have been assessed by the HLF’s regional team. Following this, the HLF’s East of England’s Regional Committee convened late last week to make the final, very positive, decision.

The Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, Robyn Llewellynn said:

“What really impressed us about this project was the clear vision for celebrating the Ouse Washes. From working with people who live and visit the area, to developing innovative schemes to help wildlife thrive and flourish, our funding will connect the Fen stories of the past with opportunities for the future.”

Following the excellent news we have just received, we are now ready to start the partnership’s delivery phase, which will run until March 2017.

Watch this space: we will shortly get much more information out as to what is going to happen in your area and how you can get involved in our learning, access, conservation, engagement, volunteering, events and training programme.

We hope to see you soon at one of the many project activities and events we have lined up for you, to discover, protect and celebrate the unique Ouse Washes heritage.

See here the press release we sent out this week: Press Release_Ouse Washes LP_1 million from HLF (or download it from our Resources section).

Bill Blake Heritage Documentation All Rights Reserved

The Ouse Washes LP landscape; Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, All Rights Reserved

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

Our Stage 2 Application is in!

Heritage Lottery FundOWLP logo

 

 

 

 

Stage 2 submission is in

We have done it! It has, undeniably, been hard work, but the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership has managed to get all the necessary paperwork together for its stage 2 submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund. I had the great pleasure to personally hand in a full three files of paperwork at the HLF’s East of England’s regional office, yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday was also our deadline for submission, to ensure a 1 April 2014 start for our delivery phase.

Thanks ever so much to everyone who has helped over the last 11 months to get to this stage!

Our submission included the partnership’s Landscape Conservation Action Plan (>400 pages), all five commissioned research reports, and a whole series of supporting documents (which includes such things as a partnership agreement, budget and cash flows, job specs, timetable, consents).

What happens next?

The Heritage Lottery Fund will assess our application and let us know in March 2014 whether the remainder of the earmarked budget (£905,700) will be released to the partnership. We believe we are in a very good position, but unfortunately will have to wait a while before we know for certain.

Although the partnership’s projects for the delivery in 2014 – 2017 have now been worked out in full and in great detail, there is still some work that needs doing in the next few months, before we can actually start doing things on the ground; this includes further promotion work, writing briefs for e.g. our website, liaison with partners and related projects and initiatives and recruiting extra staff.

I will also use this intermediate period to continue keeping you informed of further developments, and provide you with more information about what the partnership will actually do next year – so, do keep an eye out for further blog posts.

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Lock keeper cottage at Welches Dam (Manea parish)

Other Landscape Partnership schemes in East Anglia

Heritage Lottery Fund

Including the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP), there are currently four Landscape Partnership schemes in the East of England. They are:

  • Managing a Masterpiece (Stour Valley; completed : summer 2013)
  • Touching the Tide (Suffolk Coast; started delivery phase this spring)
  • Breaking New Ground (The Brecks; in development phase)
  • Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership

As there are synergies with what the OWLP scheme is trying to achieve, I thought it would be interesting to show what else is happening in the region. Over the last few months the central OWLP team has also been in regular contact with staff at the Breaking New Ground and Touching the Tide schemes, who have been very helpful with information exchange.

Each of the landscape Partnerships are very different in the type of landscapes it focuses on, ranging from the coastal landscape of the Touching the Tide, the dry scrubland of the Brecks, to the flood plain and Fenlands of the Ouse Washes, area. The Managing a Masterpiece manages the landscape as fabulously painted by John Constable who painted the old building and waterways of this landscapes. All have had a different story to tell; with the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund each of the landscapes are brought back to life, with the involvement and help of the local communities and business.

Map of the existing Landscape Partnership schemes within East Anglia:

Map of existing Landscape Partnership in East Anglia

Map of existing Landscape Partnership in East Anglia

The Brecks

Breaking New Ground covers 1000 square kilometres in the Brecks, in the heart of East Anglia.

The climate here is semi-continental, which means that the weather is colder than the UK average during winter and hotter in summer. The Brecks can also experience extreme changes in temperature throughout the year with the possibility of frost during almost any month, which in conjunction with the low rainfall in East Anglia makes it the driest part of the UK.

The Brecks have nutrient poor soil however it is a good habitat for rabbits and there are ancient Pingos, formed at the end of the last Ice Age; these are not common across the UK as most have been built on or removed. The resulting Pingo ponds are home to some unique species of wildlife, many of which are rare and some of the beetles have survived here since the last Ice Age.

Brecks Landscape Source: www.brecks.org

Brecks Landscape Source: http://www.brecks.org

In the 1660s, the area experienced huge sandstorms what with the area being largely made up of sandy soils. As a result, sand dunes were formed on Lakenheath Warren in the 1660s. These were spread over a thousand acres and the sand was blown as far as Santon Downham and partially buried villages and blocked the Little Ouse River. Extensive planting of trees in the area has stopped sandstorms occurring. The last mobile sand dune system can be seen at Wangford Warren Nature Reserve.

The Brecks has the potential to support over 300 tourist-related business, however it is one of East Anglia’s hidden gems: it is obscured by trees, resulting in rail and car travellers passing by, generally not knowing what lies behind the line of trees en route to more well-know areas such as the Norfolk Coast and the Broads. The area behind the trees, nevertheless, is a world of forest adventure; miles of tracks and paths forming a great attraction with an amazing fun world of history for everyone to get involved in.

In late July 2013 The Brecks Partnership and Greater Anglia put an image of The Brecks on the side of a train travelling between Cambridge and Norwich, as this is the line which passes through the Brecks. The aim was to promote the area to a wider audience and the train will be running until the end of July 2014 promoting the Brecks along the way.

Train with the The Brecks logo  Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinkplunger/9730654292/

Train with the The Brecks logo. Would this also be an idea for Ouse Washes LP area, another hidden gem in the region – what do you think?
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinkplunger/9730654292/

 

Touching the Tide

The Touching the Tide Landscape Partnership scheme is within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB area and is situated along the Suffolk Coast between Covehithe and Felixstowe.

The development phase was completed in November 2012 and funding was given to go forward with the delivery phase. The Touching the Tide Landscape Partnership has received £900k to support the 3 year project which started in spring 2013 and is due to end in spring 2016.

The scheme intents to invest in skills, businesses and the environment. The project money will be used to restore and conserve heritage assets which make the coast special, for example the Martello Towers as well as the shingle beaches which contribute to the sense of wildness that people value in the character of the landscape. The funding will also be used to work with local communities to inspire them to share stories of the area’s history to younger members of the community, as well as helping to conserve the local heritage by working with art projects and archaeological digs. All these projects encourage the local community to work together and to feel proud of their heritage. By the end of the 3 year project the aim is to have made a real difference to people’s understanding of this very dynamic coastline, so they can help in shaping its future.

Managing a Masterpiece

The Managing a Masterpiece Landscape Partnership scheme focused on the Stour Valley; it started in 2010 and ended in summer 2013. Their Vision is for a landscape cared for and celebrated by the local community, having been provided with knowledge, skills and opportunities needed to manage and enjoy it. The area has inspired generations of artists such as John Constable because of it natural beauty and historic structures, riverside trees, rich heritage of meadows and the field boundaries.

managing a masterpiece

The objectives for Managing a Masterpiece were:

  • Understanding the historic evolution of the landscape and the way traditional land management has shaped it;
  • Conserving or restoring the manmade and natural features that create the historic character of the landscape;
  • Celebrating the cultural associations and activities of the landscape area;
  • Encouraging more people to access, learn about, become involved in and make decisions about their landscape heritage;
  • Improving understanding of local craft and other skills by providing training opportunities.

There were 7 overarching projects (each with further projects within) which formed the Managing a Masterpiece Landscape Partnership scheme, all of which explored different parts of the landscape and which focused on:  Landscape lessons; Historic Landscape Study; Building History; Slimy Posts and Brickwork; Hidden History; Stripping Back the Layers; and Medieval Masterpieces. Each of the projects were carried out by local communities: the more they contributed the more they appreciated its value and wanted to continue their involvement with the local heritage after funding stopped.

During the years of the Landscape Partnership over 3,500 volunteer working days were completed throughout all of the projects, half of which were carried out during several archaeological projects.

Landscape of Managing a Masterpieces Source; http://www.managingamasterpiece.org/

Landscape of Managing a Masterpieces Source; http://www.managingamasterpiece.org/

 

Legacy of the Landscape Partnership schemes in the region

All of the above Landscape Partnerships schemes are aimed at involving people in their local heritage and landscape and providing access to the area so that more people are able to enjoy the environment in which they live, while at the same time giving the project volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills. The Landscape Partnership schemes do not finish once the funding stops as it is hoped that after 3 years of funding people are more knowledgeable and inspired about the area and will continue to look after the environment in which they live.

At the Ouse Washes Conference at the beginning of September there were some inspiring comments showing that people want to continue the project work after the end of the 3 years of HLF support. One person commented “My enthusiasm has grown after today. Think about branding of the scheme and of a sustainable legacy” with another saying, “Overall an exciting project- Wish it was longer than 3 years”. The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme certainly aims to get more people interested, excited and proud of their local heritage and support people in looking after the Ouse Washes into the future once the 3 year project is finished.

Related articles

New Heritage Lottery Fund projects in the Fenland area

Heritage Lottery FundIn East Anglia two other Heritage Lottery funded projects have started recently. As there are clear links with our work in both projects, I wanted to share this with you as well. These are Fenland Lives & Land and Eighth In The East; both projects are looking at the history of the area, with the Fenland Lives & Land looking at different aspects of life in the Fens in the past and the Eighth In The East looking at the history of the World War 2 US Airfields in East Anglia.

Fenland Lives & Land

With the Fenland Lives & Land project there are exhibitions going in a range of museums, communities and schools across the Fens, celebrating the extraordinary landscape of the area and which will be going for 3 years; its launch was last week Thursday.

The five exhibitions are focused on the following five themes:

  • Constructing the Past: Ancient Crafts and Engineering
  • The Wild Fens: A Journey back to Ancient landscapes
  • Living on Land & Water: Discover a World of Waterways
  • Trading Stories: A Century of Fenland Shops, Pubs and Trade
  • Bread or Blood

Each of these themes will be explored in different parts of the Fens, from the history of the ens to what was being sold in traditional shops and pubs throughout the centuries, to changes to Fenland farms over time with the effect of the Downham Riots of 1816 which resulted because of the hard economic hardship faced by farms, workers and soldiers who were returning from the Napoleonic Wars. These exhibitions will be going on for 3 years all across all Fenland museums.

For more information, see the project’s website (http://www.fensmuseums.org.uk/index.aspx) and this useful leaflet (http://www.fensmuseums.org.uk/documents/Fenland_Generic_Leaflet.pdf).

Eighth in the East

This project was recently awarded £575,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to record the history of East Anglia airfields used by the United States during World War 2. The project aims to work with local museums to get stories of Americans who served and the stories of local people who lived near the bases between 1942 and 1945.

The project will look at the 67 airfields in the East which provided bases for USAF bombing raids over Germany. About 200,000 US personnel served in East Anglia in what became known as the ‘friendly invasion’.

This is a 3-year project and hopefully by the end of the project there will be a large amount of information about that time in East Anglia. With this information there cycling and walking tours may be created to these sites and museums will have more information on want was happening in East Anglia during the ‘friendly invasion’ by the Americans.

USA

World War II US airfields in East Anglia project to record history. Source:http: //www.idaventry.com/pin/world-war-ii-us-airfields-in-east-anglia-project-to-record-history/

Look here (https://ousewasheslps.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/hidden-heritage-mepal-airfield/) for an earlier blog post about the WW2 use of the airfield in Mepal, which is located within the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area.

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

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

New opportunities with HLF

Heritage Lottery FundThe Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recently announced some changes to its schemes, starting April 2013.

There are several interesting developments worth pointing out.

First of all, it is clear that the Landscape Partnership programme continues to receive a considerable amount of the available HLF money; the HLF has also announced that this scheme will run for at least another five years. Some changes have, however, been made to the Landscape Partnership scheme, making the process for new schemes simpler and more flexible; the main changes are summarised as such on HLF’s news page:

“The application process has been simplified with new guidance materials available online. Greater flexibility has been built into the programme and awards will now start at £100,000 (previously £250,000) with the upper limit rising from £2m to £3m. The recommended scheme area size will continue to be between 20km² and 200km² but flexibility has been introduced to allow partnerships to cover a greater area depending on the scale and nature of the landscape.”

If you are interested to start your own Landscape Partnership scheme, be aware that the deadline for first-round applications is 31 May 2013 for decisions in October 2013. For an application pack with all of the new guidance documents, go to the HLF’s Landscape Partnership page.

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Fen Drayton landscape_image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE

Secondly, the HLF has split the previous ‘Your Heritage’ programme into two new programmes, ‘Our Heritage’ for grants between £10,000 and £100,000, and ‘Sharing Heritage’, for grants between £3,000 and £10,000.

The latter is an interesting scheme: not only is this a ‘rolling programme’, meaning that there is no set deadline in the year and you can apply at any time, the decision-making process is also very short, with a maximum of 8 weeks only. The application form is also not complicated. More important perhaps is that for the ‘Sharing Heritage’ scheme no cash match funding needs to be found, something which could present insurmountable difficulties for community groups with some of the other HLF programmes. The HLF commits £3 million each year to the ‘Sharing Heritage’ programme, helping people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area.

This means that all sorts of community groups could apply for small grants up to 10K. Throughout the delivery phase of the Ouse Washes LP we will encourage community groups to apply for these and similar grant schemes (such as the ‘Young Roots’ programme). Through active community engagement with the landscape by adding on related projects, we could ensure a legacy for the landscape beyond the four years of the Ouse Washes LP scheme,  which is central to what we are trying to achieve (see our vision for more on this).

See here for an overview of all of HLF’s schemes, all with updated guidance. Look here for a quick overview of the main differences between the different programmes.

Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme gets the green light

The Scheme’s lead partner, Cambridgeshire ACRE, met with the Heritage Lottery Fund on 13 September and was given the ‘green light’ to start work.

Part of the meeting was to receive feedback on the Stage 1 submission and we wanted to share an extract from the HLF’s expert advisor’s recommendation report:

I was very impressed with this project, both in terms of the submission document and the people and places we visited… Because of the compelling need and opportunity the LPS presents, the significant heritage, learning and participation benefits and the very strong project partnership and Vision,… I strongly recommend this project for HLF funding. I have seen few better Stage 1 LPS submissions.

Thanks again to all partners for getting us to this stage of the Scheme’s development.

The next task is to recruit a Programme Manager who can lead on the development of the Landscape Conservation Action Plan. Cambridgeshire ACRE is advertising this role on its website: http://www.cambsacre.org.uk/jobs.php

It’s a great opportunity for the right countryside professional so if you know anyone who might be interested in applying for the role, please share this link with them. The closing date for applications is 31 October 2012.

We’ll keep everyone abreast of developments via the blog.