A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £2.3 million has been awarded to the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for a project that aims to provide a brighter future for the Valley and its communities, by making the landscape more robust and less susceptible to a range of pressures.
Thanks to the contribution of National Lottery players, it will be possible for the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme to work with farmers, landowners and communities over the next five years to manage and enhance landscapes that are rich in wildlife, as well as cultural and historic heritage; to help improve access to special places and to promote ways for people to enjoy the landscape whilst improving their health and wellbeing. With match-funding commitments from other partners, the total to be invested across the Tamar Valley landscape over the next five years will be £3.2 million.
Stuart McLeod, Director London and South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we are delighted to support this ambitious project in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, helping to conserve and promote its unique landscape by working with local communities.”
James Luxton, Manager for the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme, is delighted with the award: “This really is great news for the Tamar Valley, this investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and from our key partners will make a big difference to residents and visitors. We have a really strong and enthusiastic partnership of organisations ready to go to make this happen.”
Key details of the project include:
- Apprenticeships and internships to improve job prospects and to provide support for local businesses
- Advice and grants for farmers to reinstate landscapes and maintain traditional skills
- Community allotments with training opportunities and reintroduction of heritage varieties
- Social prescribing, including walking, running, art and bush craft
- Opportunities and support for local businesses as the Tamar Valley strives to become the destination for a low-carbon, sustainable holiday
- Benefits for walkers as the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail will be extended to reach the coast.
Through 10 specific projects, at least 250 activity sessions will take place to improve mental and physical health & wellbeing; 50 hectares of woodland will be restored; 10 hectares of trees will be planted and 5 new orchards will be created.
This exciting venture, that has been three years in the planning, has been made possible through a strong partnership between the Tamar Valley AONB and 19 organisations. Key funders are the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Environment Agency, Historic England, the AONB itself and the Woodland Trust.
Councillor Neil Burden, Chair of Tamar Valley AONB Partnership, says: “It is a great pleasure to receive this most welcome news. Following a very positive virtual visit with the NLHF team, then just two weeks later to get the call confirming this very substantial award was an uplift to the whole partnership and everyone who has worked diligently to achieve this. To have something to aim for and work towards over the next five years is a warm ray of positive news.”
Martin Howlett, Cornwall NFU environmental spokesman, says: “As British agriculture reaches a major cross-road; outside of Europe for the first time in half a century, a global pandemic along with a climate emergency & growing world population – embracing the challenges of increased food production & self-sufficiency, whilst protecting the environment and meeting Net Zero Targets – we welcome the development & roll out of the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme. It will clearly be to the benefit of our many traditional farms & the Valley’s landscape, offering local advice, knowledge exchange & sharing best practise through ‘Nodal Farms’, that will in turn help sustain & enhance both their business & the wider rural communities they indirectly support.”
Helen Ryan, Head of Communities at Plymouth Community Homes, said:
“Plymouth Community Homes is delighted to be involved in the Tamara partnership and we especially welcome the opportunities for our residents to access apprenticeships, training and learning activities that this project will deliver. It’s been a tough year for many, the prospect of offering new careers in the beautiful Tamar Valley is exciting and uplifting. We look forward to connecting more of our residents with the stunning natural and cultural environment around us through the projects that the NLHF funding brings; at a time when getting outdoors has more importance than ever before.”
Further details on the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme projects, and how people and partners can get involved with them, will be shared at the forthcoming Tamar Valley AONB Annual Forum, where we will officially launch the Scheme. The Forum will be held online on Friday 19th March. More details coming soon.
You can follow the progress with the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme on social media (@TVAONB Facebook and Twitter, tamar_valley_aonb Instagram) or email the Tamara team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing more news and providing plenty of opportunities for you to get involved very soon.