Greensand Country Landscape Partnership
It was particularly pleasing to secure a photography commission from the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership as previously, some years back, I had played a part in helping to devise the Audience Development Plan for the project.
My current role is to help build up a library of photographs that feature the distinctive qualities of the Greensand Country. The two days recently spent in the area were to focus on taking photographs of the first Greensand Country Festival (26th May – 3rd June 2018) with the photos helping to monitor progress and for use in future Festival guides and publicity.
In all I attended 6 Festival events ranging from a ramblers walk, a very well attended Walk4health walk through the lovely and recently restored Ampthill Great Park (again HLF Funded) a Forest School activity through to a singing event on Woburn Sands Station!
I thoroughly enjoyed the two days which was really helped by people happily allowing me to take their photographs. While taking the photos I must have spoken to several dozen people and it is surprising how few have heard of the HLF funded Landscape Partnership schemes.
These Landscape Partnerships have helped restore many local landscapes up and around the country and one that has engaged many thousands of people in the process. Just one of life’s hidden gems, I guess.
Background: Greensand Country is an island of distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside in the heart of Bedfordshire. The area contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland and more historic parkland per hectare than anywhere else in the country. It is a landscape rich in wildlife and cultural heritage, with its own special qualities and sense of place.
More info: http://greensandcountry.com/
Photographs. Taken by Pete Johnstone, published courtesy of Greensand Country ©. All images have parental permissions where required.
Over the next couple of months PJ.elements will be joining forces with Cambridgeshire ACRE to undertake the Wisbech Missing Links project.
Wisbech and the surrounding fenland villages having been recognised as having poor access to local services and the surrounding countryside due to a fragmented rights of way network. This project aims to make access from the villages surrounding Wisbech into the market town through joining up the rights of way network.
The Wisbech Missing Links project aims to:
1. Improve the existing rights of way network around Wisbech to make it more accessible and ‘user-friendly’ for local people to use and;
2. Increase the number of local people using the rights of way network in and around Wisbech for both access to services and for leisure purposes.
The project is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and is undertaken with the support of the Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum (CLAF).
The CLAF played a major role in the development of the Cambridgeshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan and it identifies Fenland as one of the areas for for right of way network improvements.
Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum (CLAF), is a statutory body, set up under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), to provide advice to local authorities and other statutory undertakers on access to the countryside, is keen to work with others on improving the rights of way network, in and around Wisbech; and as a way of increasing the opportunities for local residents to access local services, surrounding countryside and green space.
I had a great opportunity to visit the High Line in New York recently to meet some staff and volunteers who gave an excellent tour of this city regeneration initiative.
Built in the late 1920s as a freight only line the ‘High Line’ in New York served many factories and warehouses and was raised above ground to reduce congestion, improve safety and increase efficiency.
By 1980 the last train ran along the tracks and for the next decade or so the High Line became derelict and a no go area. It was only with the threat of demolition in the 1990s that local people and city organisations came together to work out a future for the line.
And what a great example of urban regeneration it has been! I was particularly impressed with how well it is managed with a combination of the Friends of the High Line volunteers and staff and the city parks dept among others. Plus how the old architecture fits in with the modern new build of offices and homes. Now a tourist attraction in its own right the next section to be opened, with views of the Hudson River, will have minimal management where visitors will be able to walk along a path through self-sown vegetation to contrast that of the more managed southern section.
More High Line images can be viewed here.