Ouse Washes Mosaics on show

 

logosOver the past three months members of the public have been working alongside professional artists Carolyn Ash to produce three stunning mosaic murals depicting the Ouse Washes landscape. The murals will be installed at the three sites where they were created, Mepal Outdoor Centre, Denver Sluice and Welney Wetland Centre.

However, before the go off to their permanent homes there is a special chance to see all there together on Sunday 16th November from 10am to 3.30pm at WWT Welney Wetland Centre.

This will also be an opportunity to meet Carolyn, see a display of photos of the murals being created and to enjoy a host of activities being offered that weekend as part of the centre’s Festival of Swans.

 

The murals were created as part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, and funded by the Heritage Lottery. The scheme was established to raise awareness and encourage greater local engagement with the washes.

 

The mural project was managed by ADeC (Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire).  Nathan Jones of ADeC said:

“This has been the most wonderful project to be involved with. It has been a real privilege to work at the three sites and we have been delighted by the response of the local communities. Six different schools helped with the murals and they should be very proud of their contribution.”

 

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For the latest information on the mural projects and a range of images of the three stunning murals, see also https://www.facebook.com/OWLPCommunityMurals

 

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Fabulous Community Murals Project

Arts Development East Cambridgeshire (ADeC) are kicking off this exciting project on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014.

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Professional mosaic artist, Carolyn Ash will be working with the community, their pottery/ crockery items, some ‘spare’ museum pieces, found materials and mosaic-ware to create some fabulous permanent murals at Mepal Outdoor Centre, Denver Sluice and WWT Welney.  Postcards, and mini postboxes, will be placed at these sites for ideas for the murals or just turn up on any of the workshop days – it’s all FREE!

ADeC murals workshop poster

Download the poster here

All workshops are from 10 am till 3.30pm – wear clothes you can create in!

Mepal Outdoor Centre (Chatteris Road, Mepal, Ely, CB6 2AZ)

BH Mon 25th – Fri 29th August & Monday 1st September

Denver Sluice (PE38 0EQ/ 9QP follow the signs)

Mon 22nd – Sat 27th September

Whilst at Denver Sluice you may also want to sample the food and drink available at the Jenyns Arms (do check opening times though) and also at the wonderful Denver windmill.  There is also a golf and a sailing/rowing club in the area, a smattering of walking routes and some nice interpretation panels dotted around.  It would make a great day out with lovely lunches and afternoon tea available at the Mill which is only a short walk from the Environment Agency Sluice complex.  Spending a little time at Denver really helps highlight the man-made nature of this landscape.

WWT Welney (Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, Nr. Wisbech, PE14 9TN)

Monday 13th October – Saturday 18th October

The café and interpretation areas at Welney are excellent, with a charge for visiting the reserve proper (over the arching bridge – link to earlier blog post) but lots to see and do in the centre and shop if you have time or come back another day!

These practical, hands-on workshops mark the start of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme’s projects and activities, with the murals made with local people forming a lasting record of this landscape steeped in history and brimming with biodiversity that brings us bang up-to-date!  The murals will be mounted permanently at their making sites with related activities taking place during Festival Fortnight (20 – 31st July 2015 and in 2016 too).  Look out for more information on our activities via this blog.

Murals workshops: contact Nathan.jones@adec.org.uk for further information

See also the mural project’s own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OWLPCommuntiyMurals

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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Winter Wonderland

Heritage Lottery FundThis time I wanted to share some pretty pictures with you and take this as an opportunity to talk about another habitat creation scheme in the area. Both pictures were taken by a colleague late last week, just before the Ouse Washes area started receiving heaps of snow – with the frost on the trees and on the ground the landscape already looked in the grips of winter.

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These pictures were taken at Mepal Outdoor Centre. Cambridgeshire ACRE has recently taken over the management of this outdoors sports centre and will start running it as a varied and viable business this spring.

Mepal Outdoor Centre is located about a mile west from the Old Bedford River and comes with substantial grounds including a 20 acre lake. Not only is this a great location for the watersports and other outdoors activities on offer, there is also some woodland and the lake attracts a lot of wildlife as well.

In addition, across the road (the A142 between Ely and Chatteris) a large wetland area will be created over the next decades, Block Fen, which will eventually link this site with the Ouse Washes. Following aggregate extraction, part of the Block Fen area will be turned into an important wetland reserve including lakes and lowland wet grassland habitats. See for instance here to understand what is happening at Block Fen.

This will happen in stages over the next half century or so. The eventual results at Block Fen will have a dual function: additional water storage to reduce flood risk, and the creation of lowland wet grassland areas to compensate for the loss of similar habitats within the Ouse Washes itself, giving especially wintering and breeding birds the necessary environment being lost in the Ouse Washes washland due to more frequent unseasonal flooding. See also this previous post for a discussion of similar schemes at the south end of the LPS area. For some pictures of the lakes and wetlands already created at Block Fen, look here.

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Mepal Outdoor Centre: important for wildlife as well

With its convenient location pretty much halfway the extreme ends of the Ouse Washes LPS area, Mepal Outdoor Centre is also likely to play an important role in the delivery phase of the Ouse Washes LPS project. Several of the scheduled projects which will take place in and around the Ouse Washes between 2014 and 2016 will involve the provision of training days for volunteers in land management, biodiversity and archaeology. It is envisaged that many of these training sessions will be held at this centre, where most facilities for this are already in place.

By the way, if you have taken any nice pictures of the Ouse Washes in the snow and are happy for me to share these on this blog, please send them to me.