People and Legacy: our Vision for the Ouse Washes

Heritage Lottery FundSome important decisions were made at our first Project Board meeting late last week, taking the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme to the next level. The Project Board consists of representatives from various partner organisations, together covering a wide range of interests: local communities; wildlife; historic environment; water management; farmers & land owners; public access; museums; and churches.

These Board Meetings take place every two months throughout the year; these are important focal points where decisions are made which concern the whole partnership.

One of the decisions made concerned the Vision, as well as the strategic Aims and Objectives for the whole of the LP scheme. A unanimous decision was made that we stick to the previously defined Vision, Aims and Objectives, as they were originally developed for the stage 1 bid. The Heritage Lottery Fund was particularly impressed with the stage 1 bid, as commented on in a previous post. This is also demonstrated in the HLF’s comments on our vision:

“The Scheme has a strong Vision … They have clearly given a lot of thought to it and I especially liked “A place that links the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future”, demonstrating they understand the importance of linking past experience with future activity (comment HLF appointed mentor, May 2012)”

Well, what’s our Vision? It is this:

The Ouse Washes will be:

A place managed for the needs of all its inhabitants and visitors,

A place for people to thrive and wildlife to flourish,

A place that links the stories of the past and the possibilities of the future.

Walkers - Anthea Abbott and family - permissions granted

Education

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership is, thus, very much focused on people – locals and visitors alike – and on leaving a clear legacy. This legacy, in the shape of a sustainable future for the landscape, its heritage and communities, will be based on a clear understanding of the past interactions of people with their environment in this landscape: by learning from the past, we can decide on the best future direction.

Swan Feeds at Welney

Training & Participation

Hence, education, training and community participation will form important elements of the scheme, in particular in all the projects which will take place during the Delivery phase (which starts in April 2014): education, to make people more aware of the uniqueness of this landscape; community participation, to provide a greater connection with the landscape and to provide a ‘sense of place’; and training, to provide people with skills in order to sustain the landscape’s special character.

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Providing for a sense of place

Read more about our Aims and Objectives, which follow logically from the overarching Vision, in this document:

Ouse Washes LPS_Vision Aims and Objectives

Further information about our aims for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership can be found on this page.

Let us know what you think: do you agree with the HLF’s comments? Is this indeed the right direction for the Ouse Washes? Has anything been overlooked?

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Fenland History on Friday

Heritage Lottery FundThe well-known historian Mike Petty has organised a series of fascinating lectures for this winter period. The Fenland History on Friday Programme has become a well-established feature in the calendar year: the current series is already the 10th consecutive series of winter lectures.

Starting tomorrow and running until the end of March, each Friday a lecture will be given in Ely Library. Anyone with an interest in the Fens is more than welcome (£2,50 on the door). The time for each lecture is 10:30 – 12 noon.

Tomorrow’s (January 18) lecture will be given by Mike Petty himself and has the intriguing title ‘Fenland photographers: an illustrated presentation about the men and women who have photographed the fens since the 1850s’.

Future talks include such wide-ranging subjects as Thorney’s 17th century Huguenots who drained the Fens; archaeological excavations at Wisbech; and ‘views from above’, photographs from 19th and 20th century balloonists and aviators. Look at the Fenland History on Friday Programme for the full programme.

Mike Petty  is also closely involved in the Ouse Washes LPS project. He is a member of the Project Board, as President of the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History, and will also lead on the development of one of the projects, the intention of which is to create an interactive resource on Famous historic Figures of the Fens – more about this in due course.