The past, present and future importance of the River Nene between Northampton and Peterborough will be highlighted by a grant of £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Through a series of projects, Nenescape aims to achieve a well-managed, understood and appreciated landscape that tells tales of times gone by; inspires a sense of adventure; is easy to explore; rich in wildlife, and resilient to the pressures of on-going population growth.
Development funding of £208,300 has also been awarded to help the partnership progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. River Nene Regional Park, based in Kettering, has led the partnership work that has secured the ear-marked grant.
This success is the culmination of two years work by many partner organisations to put together a scheme of projects across the Valley that will build knowledge and understanding of the landscape and its history, improve the visitor experience through improved access and interpretation to heritage sites, and reduce the threats to and negative impacts on heritage. Projects will include interpretation and improved access to historically significant sites, restoration of important wildlife sites, and will create better connections between sites. Over the next few years there will be many opportunities for the local community to be involved in shaping the projects and learning new skills.
Kathryn Hardcastle from the River Nene Regional Park said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. This Nene Valley’s heritage is at risk from changing land use and population growth, this support will allow us to work pro-actively to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage in the Valley and to engage communities in the exploration of this beautiful landscape.”
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Rich in wildlife and important heritage, the Nene Valley already attracts nearly two million visitors a year. It’s also an area that is seeing large-scale changes with new developments and population growth. This National Lottery investment will support a wide range of organisations to work together and help more people explore the fascinating hidden stories and beauty of the Nene valley.”