The Helping Hands for Heritage (HH4H) project, which finished in July 2016, aimed to expand the potential of volunteering in the Tamar Valley, and to work towards helping to protect and care for its remarkable natural and cultural heritage. The project received an ‘Our Heritage’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and further funding from Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape WHS, Devon County Council, Tamar Community Trust, Calstock Parish Council and Buckland Monachorum Parish Council. 25 other organisations and individuals provided support in other ways, such as through the loan of equipment and delivering training sessions.
HH4H provided expert training for volunteers over a range of heritage topics, many of which have been identified to be at risk, across the entire Tamar Valley AONB and the Tavistock Area of the Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site (WHS).
The two-year project engaged around 2,280 people through 106 events and training workshops. Practical days on the Tamar Trails and at Wacker Quay alone contributed 51,300 volunteer hours. Events such as the BioBlitzes, our 20th anniversary celebrations and ‘Celebrating Shamrock’ have raised awareness of the Tamar Valley AONB and what we do.
Despite the project ending, there will still be plenty of opportunities to volunteer in the Tamar Valley: The ‘Trailmakers’ days will continue through the Tamar Community Trust, and the Cormac volunteering programme will also carry on. Keep an eye on the Tamar Valley AONB events programme for upcoming workdays. We will still need volunteers to help out at the Tamar Valley Centre, including on the front desk in the summer months. You can find out more about the opportunities to get involved on the Valley Volunteers webpage.
One of the most popular training activities delivered through HH4H was given by Tim Kellett from the Cornwall Ancient Tree Forum. Tim delivered three sessions to around 30 volunteers, learning about special trees and how to record them as part of the Ancient Tree Hunt. Some of the volunteers have gone on to record numerous trees which will be verified as ancient, veteran or notable by the ATF verifiers. An A2 poster of ‘The Special Trees of the Tamar Valley’ was produced to celebrate this.
2015 was the 20th anniversary of the designation of the Tamar Valley AONB, and as part of the celebrations we ran a photographic competition looking back at the Valley even further in time. We asked local people to take ‘now’ photographs of a series of images from the past 200 years, and showed them as a slideshow as part of our ‘Hidden Valley’ exhibition in December 2015. Now, you can watch it whenever you like…
Wacker Quay to Antony Trail self-guided walk leaflet illustrated and designed by Ley Roberts, Limekiln Gallery, Calstock. Designed to include some of the features ‘discovered’ by volunteers during the project, it is available to download.
You can find out more about Helping Hands for Heritage in the end of project evaluation.