Colne Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme

Colne Valley Regional Park Set For £2.5M Funding Boost

The Colne Valley Regional Park – the first real taste of the countryside immediately west of London – is set to receive a package worth £2.5m, thanks to a successful bid for National Lottery funding.
The park covers 43 square miles, a mosaic of farmland, woodland and water – 200 miles of river and canal, and more than 60 lakes.
This landscape is precious and extremely fragile. It is under constant pressure, especially from huge transport infrastructure projects – the HS2 high speed rail line is destined to slice right across it, and the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport affects its southern end.
This week it was announced the area will receive National Lottery funding of £1.63m for a wide-ranging project: ‘Colne Valley: A Landscape on the Edge’. This will be combined with local funding to bring the total investment up to £2.5m. 
A partnership bringing together wildlife organisations, local authorities, and water companies, will start the project this autumn, led by community charity Groundwork South.
The Landscape on the Edge initiative features a diverse and ambitious range of projects and programmes. They include measures to help threatened water voles to thrive, conserve wildlife habitats, raise awareness among local people of the need to reduce water consumption and conserve wetland habitats, improve access routes into the area for local people, support local conservation groups,  and encourage residents and visitors to celebrate their landscape by getting out and about in it.
Rob Rees, Chair of the Colne Valley Landscape Partnership said: “We are delighted our bid to secure National Lottery funding has been successful. This means investment in a three-year scheme that directly benefits the Colne Valley Regional Park, its natural heritage and local people. This significant award, together with investment from partners, allows us to commence 19 exciting projects, and we look forward to fully involving residents and visitors in this vital and varied work. Our successful application is the result of an enormous combined effort, and we wish to thank all members of the Partnership, and, of course, National Lottery players, for making this dream become a reality.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund said: “I am thrilled that Colne Valley has been awarded £1.6m of National Lottery funding.  Heritage makes a huge difference to people and the places they live.  It will be exciting to see how this fantastic project progresses and the positive effect it has on the local community now that funding has been confirmed.”
Stewart Pomeroy, Colne Valley Managing Agent said: “In a month where, HS2 construction continues and the government voted on proposed Heathrow expansion, Groundwork South is pleased to play an important part in bringing some good news for the landscapes, rivers, wildlife and communities in and around the Colne Valley.
 

About the Lanscape Partnership Scheme

 
Groundwork is leading a partnership of organisations in a bid to bring over £2m into the Colne Valley Regional Park and neighbouring areas! The Scheme is called ‘Colne Valley – Landscape on the Edge’ and covers an area of 126km2 In November 2016, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Development Stage funding which will support the partnership in developing the detail. Ewa Prokop (Programme Manager) will be in post until March 2018 to help partners pull together all the information required. The partnership will learn whether it has been successful with the bid in June 2018. The Delivery Stage will then run for a period of three years.
 
Through the Scheme the partnership will take steps to bring a cherished landscape back from the brink of irreversible decline by coordinating conservation work as well as help connect communities with heritage and enable them to take responsiblity for it. The aims are:
- To restore and strengthen the landscape character and its visibility, focussing on key habitats intrinsic to the landscape, providing resilience and the ability to sustain the landscape in the long term.
- To reconnect local communities with the heritage, raising awareness of the Colne Valley to more and a wider range of people through learning activities, information and interpretation resources, cultural events and volunteering.
- To invest in skills to enable the stewardship, at grassroots level, of the landscape based on a specialised and locally specific volunteer and training plan.
- To create a robust, active and effective partnership for managing the landscape beyond the life of the Landscape Partnership Scheme.
 
At present 21 projects have been identified under 4 themes:
- Preventing Water Voles from Being Extinct Project
- Invasive Species Project
- River Floodplain and Connectivity Project
- River Signage Project
- Weir Today, Gone Tomorrow Project
- Angling & Nature Conservation Project
- Conservation Grazing Project
- Positive Management Project
- River Wardens Project
- Water Saving Project
- Your Town/Village in the Colne Valley Project
- Community Support Group Project
- Ancient Woodlands Interpretation Project
- Flowing Through the Colne Project
- Walks Through a Changing Landscape Project
- Windows to the Valley Project
- Spatial Vision Project
- Improving the Interface between Town & Country Project
- A Bridge to the Country Project
- Completing the Missing Links Project
- Colne Valley Trail Project.
 
As part of the development of the Landscape Partnership a Landscape Character Assessment has been produced for the Colne Valley Regional Park
 
For more information about the project please see our LCAP document. 
 
Contact: Ewa Prokop (Programme Manager)
Office: Colne Valley Park Visitor Centre, Denham Country Park
Main switchboard: 01895 832662 Ext. 228