The Living Wandle LP is the first urban landscape that the Heritage Lottery Find (HLF) has funded under its LP programme. It focuses on the River Wandle which flows through four boroughs – Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.
The area is in urgent need of conservation work with plans in place to return it to a healthy ecosystem. Wandsworth Borough Council, acting as lead partner, also recognises the need to involve local communities in the scheme and will offer opportunities to explore the river and how it connects to the history of the area.
The HLF investment totalling £18.3m cover 11 landscapes which involve a number of different landscapes including ancient woodland, reedbeds, marshes, dunes and former industrial land. Alongside conservation work, there will be a wide range of training opportunities on offer such as apprenticeships for disadvantaged young people, courses on hedgelaying and drystone walling and traditional dance and music sessions. The other ten projects are:
- The Island of Lindisfarne – spectacular coastline in North Northumberland known as ‘The Cradle of Christianity’;
- Morecambe Bay – the largest inter-tidal area in the UK, straddling Lancashire and Cumbria, with four estuaries joining in a horseshoe-shaped Bay;
- The Glens of Antrim – nine spectacular glens on the Antrim Cost running down into the North Channel;
- Gower – an unspoilt, much-visited peninsula to the west of Swansea and one of the first ever designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB);
- The Lomond Hills – a distinctive natural landmark of two volcanic sills with some of Scotland’s oldest examples of small-scale mining and limestone quarrying;
- The River Tay – a rift valley below Perth and the only place in Scotland where the rare bearded tit breeds;
- The South Dorset Ridgeway – a picturesque stretch of land between Dorchester and Weymouth dating from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages;
- Stiperstones and Corndon Hill – two upland ridges which bear witness to the Shropshire Hill’s long history of mining and quarrying;
- The Suffolk Heritage Coast – a narrow coastal strip stretching from Felixstowe to Kessingland with low-lying shingle beaches and estuaries;
- The Lower Derwent Valley – located along the River Derwent between Matlock and Derby, this part of Derbyshire allegedly inspired the nursery rhyme ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’.
August 1, 2011