Get into Mosaic-making this Bank Holiday Monday!

logosThe Ouse Washes Community Murals Project starts at Mepal on Bank Holiday Monday! Mepal is the first of the three places in our special, but little-known, area of East Anglia which stretches from Downham Market to St Ives that will have outdoor murals made by you and others in the communities from across the landscape! For free! You can freely come to these crafty workshops whenever and for however long you want all the week until end of Friday 29th August, and the workshop is held for one more day on the following Monday the 1st September. Anyone can have a go regardless of age and ability at creating these wonderful outdoors art features.

Carolyn Ash and a great outdoor murals - sourced from Ely Standard 24 - http://www.elystandard.co.uk/what-s-on/arts/learn_how_to_put_together_a_mosaic_at_unique_workshop_1_3734029?usurv=skip

Carolyn Ash and a great outdoor murals – sourced from Ely Standard 24

Denver and Welney are the other two places and workshops will be held at these places for their murals later in September then October. It was all made possible by a Heritage Lottery Grant successfully applied to by ADeC under the Ouse Washes: The Heart of the Fens Landscape Partnership Scheme. The murals were commissioned to become a permanent and pretty landscape feature the local people can be proud of because of their involvement in the workshops of the project. The scheme was set up to raise awareness and encourage greater local engagement with the landscape of the Ouse Washes to celebrate and highlight it and its value. Your ideas are also needed – we will give you postcards at the three locations where you can write down what makes the landscape special to you for the designs.

Carolyn Ash with a fabulous example - sourced by Jono Jarvis

Carolyn Ash with a fabulous example – sourced by Jono Jarvis

It will be led by talented artist Carolyn Ash, who will guide you through all aspects of this popular activity – it is the fun, creative and original thing to do for the whole family and to do with friends! As promoted in the Ely Standard24, on the Thursday and Friday between 10am-3.30pm, Carolyn will transform the resulting mosaic into a large outdoor mural.

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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

Rich Soil Rich Heritage – Free Film

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Opportunities to view the 45 minute film called “Rich soil, rich heritage” all about the district and how it has been shaped by the many different people who have come here over the past 350 years.

Leaflet HLF

Enjoy!

 

Grants available for Community Projects: now open for applications

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Today we are launching our Community Heritage Fund, our small grants scheme!

 

Grants available for Community Projects

Have you got an idea for a small community heritage project in your local area?  Grants of between £500 and £2,000 are now available to help people look after, learn about, extend the understanding of and to celebrate the unique landscape and hidden heritage of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) area.

 

Who can apply?

Anyone living inside or outside the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area is eligible to apply, coming from organisations, groups in the voluntary and community sectors or individuals and local companies.

What can we finance?

Projects should have clear public benefits, support the OWLP scheme’s objectives, and provide some input into the partnership’s main events, the Ouse Washes Festival Fortnights planned for July 2015 & 2016.

Project ideas could, for instance, include the creation of a new circular walk/ village information panel, bringing an area’s heritage to life via an oral history project or walks-and-talks, heritage skills training or passing on land-based management skills to others, or perhaps a one-day community event focusing on the culture or natural heritage of your local area.

Many other activities could also certainly qualify for a grant; the above is just indicative of the kind of projects we think people might be interested in carrying out.

 

Do you have a project idea? Why not come and talk to us:

As part of the launch of our Community Heritage Fund scheme we will be touring the area: the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership team will be visiting four characterful pubs spanning the area to discuss your project ideas.

Please come and see us and enjoy a complimentary snack or two!

  •  Lamb & Flag, Welney – Monday 30th June 5.30 – 7. 30 pm
  •  Jenyns Arms, Denver Sluice – Tuesday 1st July 7 – 9 pm
  •  Three Pickerels, Mepal – Wed 2nd July 5.30 – 7.30 pm
  •  Old Ferryboat Inn, Holywell – Thursday 3rd July 5.30 – 7.30 pm

Please find our leaflet here, for the four above events: Community Heritage Fund A5 poster (PDF, 0.5MB) – please hang this up for people to see or pass on to others if you could as well; thanks.

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How to apply

The first two application rounds have deadlines of 20 August & 30 November 2014. Application forms and grant guidance can be found here (and also in our Resources):

 

We encourage you to contact us if you would like some feedback on your initial ideas; we are there to advise you on your project ideas and to guide you through the application process.

We are looking forward to your project ideas; hope to see you in the pub for one of our pub info sessions!

 

Circular Walks in OWLP area – part 1 : Mepal

LogosOne of the things that came out clearly out of the community consultations we held last year in the parishes of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme area was that people would like more information about possible walks in their area.

Access to circular routes: the problem identified

People are especially after circular routes which they can follow, starting from their own village. Although a lack of joined-up rights of way in many parts of the OWLP area has been identified, we have also noticed that part of the problem seems to be the lack of access to the information about existing opportunities to access the countryside. Where this information is available, people also do not always know about its existence: often, existing walking and cycling routes are only available in paper versions or are available online but people are not necessarily aware of their existence.

Our solution

So, we are going to do something about this: over the next months, we aim to publish a series of blog posts advertising existing opportunities for exploring the countryside, be it for walking, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing or boating.

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Mepal’s circular walk. Source – http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

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The Three Pickerels Public house along the New Bedford River. Source: http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

Mepal circular walk: the Ouse Washes, Wildlife and the Gault Hole

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Front page of the Mepal Walk leaflet. Source: http://www.visitcambridge.org/dbimgs/MepalWay(1).pdf

 

A very good example is the route published for a tour through and around the village of Mepal. Even though this leaflet has been available for over a year and hard copies have been distributed in Mepal, not many people know of this very good route. For instance, when I showed several Sutton residents the leaflet nobody had seen it before, even though the route passes very close to the Sutton-Mepal parish boundary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaflet with the Mepal walk can be downloaded here

This leaflet, by the way, together with several other routes published for Cambridgeshire, was funded through a grant distributed through the previous LEADER programme (see previous blog post).

 

Do you know of any good walks in the area?

I have started this series of blog posts to showcase the existing walks and cycle rides in the area – by all means pass on any information to me about other sources of walks or rides, whether published online or not. We are keen to let more people know about the options and get you out and about in this very special landscape!

 

Related posts:

 

6 April: Ouse Washes Experience – Do join in!

LogosAn exciting event is coming your way soon: On Sunday 6 April will see the Ouse Washes Experience.

This is a brand new event, which will be held in the heart of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme area.

The Ouse Washes Experience: a sponsored run or cycle ride

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The Ouse Washes in flood, May 2012. Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, All Rights Reserved.

This event is organised by the Ely Hereward Rotary Club, in close co-operation with the OWLP scheme, Cambridgeshire ACRE, Mepal Outdoor Centre, RSPB, Environment Agency, Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire Police.

The idea is that all participants will either run or cycle along the Ouse Washes between Mepal and Welney, for either 4 or 9.6 miles (6.4 or 15 km), that is from Mepal until the Welches Dam/RSPB Ouse Washes reserve, or until the end in Welney village.

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See the Ouse Washes close up – all abilities are welcome

Cyclist and runners of all ages and abilities are invited to join! It is not a race, but should be seen as a great opportunity to enjoy the day in a unique landscape and raise money for charity in the process.

It is a unique opportunity to get to see the Ouse Washes area from a different viewpoint. Participants, whether they go on foot or on bicycle, will all leave together and follow the same 9-foot wide track in between the Old Bedford River and the Counter Drain.

Although a public footpath, this is not normally open for other users: special permission has been given by the owners, the Environment Agency, and its tenant, the RSPB, for use by cyclists and for this event.

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The route: From Mepal to Welches Dam, or to Welney

Further Details

Full details of the event can be found in the following flier: http://rotaryclubely-hereward.org/IMUpload/OWE%20flier%20V.5.pdf   Or download it here: OWE flier V.5

See also the Ely Hereward Rotary Club’s Twitter account (@Owe2014Ely) for the latest news on the event. Or, see this news item which came out last week.

I like the idea – how do I register for the event?

Do come and join us – it is fairly simple – to register, go to the dedicated Ouse Washes Experience Webpage on Eventbrite, or follow the links on the Ely Hereward Rotary Club website, and follow the instructions.

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RSPB Ouse Washes reserve at Welches Dam. Image: Cambridgeshire ACRE

Sponsorship for Magpas

Whether participating as a family, an individual or perhaps as a group of friends or colleagues, the idea is that everyone brings in money for charity through sponsorship.

MAGPAS was chosen as the headline charity: most of the proceeds of this sponsored event will go to MAGPAS, the emergency medical charity with their noticeable orange helicopter (apparently the only one in this colour nationwide!). See here a picture of the helicopter when I joined the Ely Hereward Rotary Club recently to meet the Magpas team at their base at RAF Wyton:

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The bright orange helicopter from Magpas , with Emma Nick and Keil from Magpas; and Michael and Gary from Ely Hereward Rotary Club

Magpas provides an enhanced air ambulance and emergency response service. What’s special and unique about Magpas is that each Helimedix team is made up of both a specialist doctor and a paramedic, thus being able to start treatment straight away when needed. Even though all doctors and paramedics give their time for free, the costs for the charity are still high, what with the helicopter, a huge range of equipment and extensive training provided to their doctors and paramedics. Magpas receives no Government or National Lottery funding and relies wholly in donations from the public.

Their work is crucial in saving lives across East Anglia and beyond: Since the charity was founded in 1971, Magpas has attended over 60,000 patients. Many people owe their lives to the heroic works of the Magpas staff! Definitely a worthy cause to raise funds for.

Related events on 6 April

The registration of the event will take place at Mepal Outdoor Centre. There will be stalls with information from various organisations, including ourselves and Magpas. Mepal Outdoor Centre will also have a range of trainers in place if people want to make a full day of adventure out of it – why not combine the run or cycle ride by doing some wall climbing, archery or water sports afterwards?

There are also ongoing conversations with the RSPB Ouse Washes reserve and the pub/restaurants, both in Mepal and Welney, to have further add-on events on the day – watch this space for any updates!

Now why not come and join us!

The new OWLP Landscape Boundary

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As part of the development phase works we have reconsidered the boundary for the OWLP scheme area. This was included in the work done as part of the Landscape Character Assessment , commissioned by the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership to Sheils Flynn.

Redrawing the boundary

For our stage 1 submission, back in early 2012, the boundary drawn was still relatively simple. Not anymore. Following the recent finalisation of the Landscape Character Assessment for the OWLP area and the Landscape Conservation Action Plan as part of our stage 2 submission, I can now show you the final results of this work.

First of all, spot the differences:

A4_Boundary

Boundary as drawn for the OWLP’s stage 1 application, February 2012

337-LA-10 - Parish Boundaries

OWLP boundary as defined for the stage 2 submission, November 2013. Map created by Sheils Flynn for OWLP. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 – not to be reproduced.

In their comments on our stage 1 bid, the HLF considered the OWLP area boundary somewhat vague and arbitrary; despite numerous hours of discussion between partners had already gone into this.

A coherent landscape

A requirement for the stage 2 submission was, thus, to come up with a better described, understood and more coherent boundary. The new landscape boundary is based on careful consideration of a number of related factors:

  • The boundary surrounds a strongly coherent landscape. The vast majority of the OWLP landscape is below the 5 m contour line.This is a distinct landscape, with a unique history, linear waterways, significant wetlands and which plays an important role in food production, drainage and flood prevention.
  • The boundary is driven by the landscape using natural boundaries.
  • The boundary is understood by local people – as part of the community consultations held during the Audience & Access work, people were shown draft versions of the new map, to which people responded positively, as the boundary line follows local landscape features such as roads, drains and other, locally recognised landscape features.
  • The boundary reflects historic patterns of land use: the ‘territory’ associated with the Fen Isle villages, including for instance historic field patterns, droveways and outlying farmsteads, together describe historic patterns of land use and the present-day sense of community in this part of the Fens. Settlements developed on ‘islands’ of higher land in an otherwise expansive and historically marshy landscape. The most productive arable fields were concentrated on the more elevated, relatively well-drained land surrounding the villages, with pasture on seasonally water-logged meadows. The marshy fenlands, which covered vast areas of the Fen Basin, were an important economic resource, used for cutting peat, reeds and sedge and to provide a constant supply of wildfowl, fish and eels.
  • The boundary contains a relatively empty landscape, with a scatter of settlements on the areas of higher land on and around the edge; relatively well-drained soils fringe the low-lying fen that was the focus of the Ouse Washes drainage scheme. The settlements function as individual gateways to the central, lower landscape.
  • The boundary coincides with the historic road pattern: the alignment of roads and causewayed tracks connects the villages and forms a loose ring around the Ouse Washes.
  • The boundary contains an internationally significant wetland landscape: recent wetland and fen restoration projects and opportunities for new wetlands as part of the Great Ouse Wetland and Fens Wetland Vision projects contribute to the international value of the Ouse Washes and have the potential to provide superb opportunities for public access, recreation and environmental education.

Crossing multiple boundaries

The OWLP area covers two Counties (Cambridgeshire and Norfolk), five different Districts (Kings Lynn & West Norfolk BC, Fenland DC, East Cambridgeshire DC, Huntingdonshire DC and South Cambridgeshire DC) and no less than 29 Parishes.

In the process of redefining the boundary for the OWLP landscape, the total area increased from 199 km2 at the stage 1 bid to 243 km2 now, stretching for 48.5 km between Denver and Downham Market at the northern end and Fen Drayton and St Ives to its south.

The OWLP residents

The OWLP area contains 25 villages/settlements which are either fully or partially within, or directly abutting the area’s boundary:

  • In Norfolk these are Denver, Salters Lode, Fordham, Nordelph, Ten Mile Bank, Welney, Tipps End and Lakes End.
  • The Cambridgeshire settlements are Manea, Pymoor, Wardy Hill, Coveney, Witcham, Mepal, Sutton, Earith, Aldreth, Over, Swavesey, Fen Drayton, Holywell, Needingworth, Bluntisham, Colne and Somersham.
  • Close by are also the settlements of Hemingford Grey, Willingham, Haddenham and Little Downham (Cambridgeshire) and Hilgay (Norfolk).

The resident population of the LP area is 33,010. Outside the Ouse Washes LP area the neighbouring towns within a c10km zone are Downham Market, Littleport, Ely, Chatteris, March, St Ives, Huntingdon and Cambridge; they have a collective resident population of 236,688. The OWLP scheme’s delivery phase focuses on both the local residents and market town residents.

337-LA-001 - Location Map

Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership area – Location Map. Map created by Sheils Flynn for OWLP. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 – not to be reproduced.

Click on the above map (X 2) to zoom in; the maps displayed here can also be viewed in our Resources section.

What do you think?

What do you think? Does this boundary indeed reflect local people’s perceptions of what makes a coherent landscape? Let me know your thoughts – click on the balloon at the top to leave a comment, or contact me directly. Thank you.

 

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