What local residents have told us (so far…)

Over the past few months Mark, Peter and Anna and I have been out and about in the villages and parishes in or near the Ouse Washes Landscape area chatting to local residents.  We have been asking them to describe how they use the countryside around them, tell us what they know of its heritage and let us know how they value their local landscape.

Consulting with young people at Manea Gala

Consulting with young people at Manea Gala

We are very grateful for the views and opinions of those we spoke to and will be using them to shape the programme going forward. I will post a full report later in the summer but thought you might be interested in some of the ideas people have shared with us and what we have been told around the area.

‘’Everyone knows it is there but not everyone knows what it does’’ Welney resident.                                                                                                                         We have found this to be true although its existence is not always recognised in the Market Towns we surveyed and those Parishes not directly adjacent to the Rivers.

‘’I think it’s magical when it floods down the Gault.’’ Sutton resident                         ”I never really think about where I live, I just drive through it’’ 19 year old Welney resident.                                                                                                                 Attitudes towards the landscape also seem to vary depending upon the age of the resident.  We have found that older residents (50+) are more likely to understand the role of the Washes; will have been educated about it at school (if they were children in the area) and can generally talk knowledgeably about the environmental and historical heritage of the area.

’We need more points of interest marked and presented, with good information. These could be historical, environmental or businesses – for example, farm visits; links to people producing food, craft, art; cultural events; wildlife trails. We also need more circular footpaths, with information sheets.’’ Somersham resident.     This comment covers a number of commonly voiced opinions i.e. the need for more information about what is available and circular walks. I did however like this response to the question ‘’’ What would encourage you to visit the Ouse Washes area more often?                                                                                                                     Answer: ‘’A good pair of legs.’’

The surveys are still open:                                                                                             The local resident survey (for those living near to the Washes) can be found at:

http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/s/81251HOSCT

The market town survey for residents of March, Ely, Chatteris, Downham Market and St Ives is at:

http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/s/83190XOQKC

 

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Volunteering for the Ouse Washes LP

Heritage Lottery Fund

I have been working on the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme for two weeks now as a summer placement volunteer. My main role has been working on the community consultations to find out what you know about the area and how it is used by both locals and visitors. We are already beginning to see some trends and it will be interesting to see whether they continue as we visit more local communities. If you would like to be involved then we have an online survey that can be found at;

Here are some of the quotes that we have so far:

‘’On a day like this it is lovely, in the winter it is dismal and grey’’

‘’It is good for walking and clears my head’’

‘’Not much of a view I am afraid’’

’Public transport is not just poor it is non-existent’’

‘’I think it is unique but it would be far better if people knew about it and opening it up would attract more people’’

‘’The birds are lovely to see and my children love spotting the bugs and lizards.  It’s great to be able to walk for a few minutes from my house and I’m in the countryside’’

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How do you use the Ouse Washes landscape? Fill in the survey and let us know. Image by Pete Johnstone for Cambridgeshire ACRE.

What do you think?

We would really like to know what you know about the Ouse Washes area and how you use it, and just as importantly how you would like to use it in the future. Here’s the link again to the online survey:

http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/s/81251HOSCT

During the delivery phase there will be lots of exciting projects that you can get involved with that will enhance the area, its communities and help to highlight and conserve its unique heritage.

Hidden heritage

One of the themes of the project is ‘Hidden Heritage’, we would like to know of any local ‘gems’ that you know of that you think others would be interested in. It may be the stories of someone who has lived in the area for a long time or a landscape feature that has a local story, or anything that you think is interesting. Let us know.

I am looking forward to meeting more of you out in the local communities and to hear your stories and views on the area.

Pete