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Landscape Heritage Scheme
The Landscape Heritage Scheme was a 3 year project which was part of a larger initiative called Life into Landscape, the aim of which was to connect people with their countryside. The project was led by South Hams District Council. The Partnership’s considerable achievements were recognised in 2005 when it won Highly Commended in the First Choice Responsible Tourism Scheme – losing out only to a scheme in Kenya’s Masai Mara!
As its contribution to the scheme, DWT made 150 advisory visits and allocated funding towards the restoration of 15km of hedgerow and the enhancement of 53 wildlife sites. The main funding for the scheme came from a grant for £1.3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Dart Catchment Project
This was probably the first truly landscape scale project undertaken by DWT. Funded by Europe under a programme called Cycleau, the project’s aim was to engage people living within the Dart catchment in thinking about their impacts on the river and the land that surrounds it and considering how they might contribute to ensuring its long term well being for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
Through working with the people who live, work and play in the Dart Catchment, the project produced the Dart Catchment Project Action Plan. The Plan set out an ambitious work programme for the project under 7 different themes. The project team ran from 2003 - 2006.
This included providing advice and grants to farmers and land owners, using the Dart as an educational resource, and involving people in improving and surveying local habitats, whilst also increasing understanding of how the catchment worked as a whole.
Over three years, the project
• Improved the management of 8 km of riverbank to the benefit of water quality and wildlife.
• Restored salmon spawning habitat over 3 km of river.
• Gave advice to over 33 landowners and awarded £25,000 in grant funding.
• Installed 3 interpretation points - at Steamer Quay and The Longmarsh in Totnes, and at the Sharpham Estate at Ashprington.
• Developed a ‘Rivers Teacher Training Package’ for Key Stages 1, 2, 3 & 4.
• Involved over 4,000 people in two Dart Water Festivals.
Green Gateway was the generic title given to a range of activities carried out on the Culm grasslands of north Devon with over £500k of funding provided by Devon Waste Management through the Landfill Tax Credits scheme. The scheme offered a ‘green gateway’ to a more sustainable future for this internationally important habitat, making the link between Devon’s rural landscapes and wildlife and the region’s economic and social wellbeing. The idea was to enable the landscape and its biodiversity to be used as a sustainable asset for landowners and as a positive social resource for the wider community.
Green Gateway was based on a range of approaches that promoted the sustainable use of natural capital as an asset by furthering understanding of the value of the wildlife and landscape of the Culm Natural Area, helped landowners to retain and manage their environmental assets , turned environmental assets into business assets and encouraged and facilitated community involvement and action for the natural environment.
It was one of the earliest projects to try to link socio-economics and environment, something which has now become commonplace. In that sense it was a ground breaking project for its time.