Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership
The Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership is delighted to report that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the scheme a Stage 2 grant to implement the programme, with approximately £1.9 million over a five year period, starting October 2011. The Partnership Team and over 100 guests held a formal launch on 18th November 2011.
The partnership will cover the following area, and communities in between:
Eggleston - Barnard Castle - Winston - Gainford - Barforth - Hutton Magna - Barningham - Bowes
The key themes include:
Agriculture - Conservation - Natural and Built Environment - Rivers - Wildlife - Heritage Arts - Culture - Skills - Training - Access - Community Participation - Local Distinctiveness
The objective of the programme is to bring back into focus the unique characteristics of the area and to renew and conserve the views, the walks, rural and town features that make up the landscape as a whole. To focus on the historic landscape and its' impact upon creative artists and to see how the current state of the landscape can be renewed to inspire artists, residents, and other intrepid visitors today and in the future.
- To involve the local community and increase the sense of pride and ownership, through a new volunteer group with local wardens to help with the renewal and care of important sites, adoption of views and sites of special interest and perhaps celebrations or 'festival' of the views.
- To extend the Barnard Castle Landscape Appraisal across the whole area, bringing together the parishes, educational, social, environmental, and commercial bodies in support.
- To ensure the longevity of the project by investing in education, skills and access.
- To mirror HLF's objectives focus on heritage, landscape and environmental goals, noting concerns to focus funding on areas where deprivation occurs, particularly recognising the rural dimension.
Characterised by farmland, ancient woodlands, small villages and country parks, the 10,000 hectare area of the Tees Vale is renowned for its legacy of Roman roads, lead mining heritage, the romantic ruins of Barnard Castle and the inspiration it has given in the past to a number of distinguished writers and artists, including Wordsworth, Dickens and Turner.
Supported by Barnard Castle Vision and working with local partners, the five-year project will involve many local organisations and their communities. A major part of the programme will be the involvement of volunteers of all ages.
Commenting on the award, William Weston, Chair of the Partnership commented: “Overshadowed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Peninnes AONB, there has never been a landscape renewal project in the Tees Vale until now. We are delighted that this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been made available to us, as it offers us a tremendous opportunity to conserve and enhance the beauty of the Vale which local people rightly have a pride in and enable this very special area to become a beautiful attraction in its own right.”
Durham County Council’s Cabinet Regeneration Portfolio Holder Councillor Neil Foster commented: “Through the regeneration project which is planned, the Tees Vale’s spectacular scenery will once again become a showcase for our whole county, helping to attract ever greater numbers of tourists and visitors to the region in the years ahead.”
Ivor Crowther, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “Landscapes play a huge role in all our lives but we mustn’t take them for granted. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be providing an initial investment into these exciting plans for Tees Vale and Barnard Castle, particularly in this International Year of Biodiversity. We look forward to seeing the project progress.”