The striking landscape of the Trent Valley, along with its archaeological and industrial heritage and important wetland habitats, are set to benefit from the first stage of a £3 million project.
Earlier this year (May 2016), the Central Rivers Initiative partnership submitted a £2-3 million funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a wide range of environmental, cultural and community-led projects within a the Trent valley covering parts of the rivers Trent, Tame and Dove.
In November 2016, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that the application had been successful.
The first stage of the grant, amounting to £256,300, has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to The Central Rivers Initiative (CRI) as part of its ‘Transforming the Trent Valley’ partnership project led by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
The 18-month scheme—which supports the development of a larger proposal to be submitted for approval in 2018 for environmental, cultural and community-led projects—was given initial approval through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.
The ‘Transforming the Trent Valley’ scheme aims to turn people’s outlook back to the river and floodplain, raise their level of appreciation for the local heritage, and engage them in constructive and informed decision-making about the future use and management of the landscape.
The Landscape Partnership Scheme will undertake a wide range of environmental, cultural and community-led projects within the Trent, Tame and Dove river valleys covering some 190 square kilometres from Uttoxeter to Tamworth and including the river valleys within or near to the main towns of Burton, Rugeley, Lichfield and Derby.
Work over the next 18 months will help to shape and define a range of projects. Projects will include:
- Creating a more robust and attractive landscape for local people and for visiting tourists to enjoy with access to sites of wildlife and cultural interest.
- Revealing the archaeological and industrial heritage that has shaped the river valley landscape.
- Restoring characteristic river valley landscape features such as meandering river channels, water meadows and waterside trees.
- Creating new and improved wildlife habitats such as reed beds, wet pastures and woodland encouraging species such as bittern, osprey and waders on land formerly quarried for sand and gravel.
- Improving accessibility on foot, cycle and horseback with new opportunities for recreation and sport.
What the project means:
Julian Woolford, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This is fantastic news and we were delighted to hear that our application has been successful.
“This funding will allow us to focus on work on part of the county’s most treasured landscape and heritage, and will be a huge benefit to communities, organisations and crucially, wildlife.
“We are now looking forward to getting started with work on the ground and making a real difference to such an important part of our area.”
Julia Jessel, Chairman of the CRI, said: “This is very exciting news and now means the CRI can deliver its long-term vision for the benefit of all.
“The success of our bid is also testament to the huge effort made by everyone involved. I am extremely proud to have the privilege of being the chairman of this partnership.”
Andrew Hearle, Central Rivers Initiative Manager, said: “This lottery funding will give us the keys to help create a more robust and attractive landscape for local people and visiting tourists to enjoy, as well as restoring characteristic river valley features such as meandering river channels, water meadows and waterside trees.
“Local communities will also benefit as the scheme will involve improving accessibility to the area on foot, cycle and horseback with new opportunities for exploring local history, wildlife, as well as for recreation and sport.”