What we do
The future of our natural and cultural heritage relies not only on the support of the local community, but on their ability to conserve, restore and promote it. We worked with local farmers, film-makers, heritage building professionals, local residents and trainee conservationists to cultivate and share skills as widely as possible.
Throughout the scheme we supported graduate traineeships, our visitor businesses and our residents and volunteers.
Landscape and heritage conservation trainees
Five graduate trainees were recruited and supported through the scheme. The traineeships were designed to give experience in natural, built and cultural heritage conservation, to recent graduates of heritage-related degrees. All our trainees have gone onto work in conservation or undertake research in their chosen field.
- Five year-long traineeships were completed
- Four trainees subsequently found work in landscape and biodiversity conservation
- One is pursuing a PhD in astronomy following her work on the community observatory
You can follow the adventures of our trainees through their blogs:
Working with the tourism sector
The focus of the scheme was on helping small tourism businesses to better understand the heritage of the Allen Valleys and to help them to use this knowledge to promote their businesses, promote the Allen Valleys, and to become future defenders of their heritage assets.
- We established the Visit Allen Valleys (VAV) network which met regularly, and led to better communication with Northumberland Tourism, the North Pennines AONB Responsible Tourism Lead, Northumberland County Council, and others
- VAV and scheme staff worked together on a series of Heritage Open Days in 2016, 2017 and 2018
- VAV and scheme staff worked together on branding, website management, social media, and towards Walkers are Welcome accreditation for the Allen Valleys
- We ran a series of fully booked training events and familiarisation tours covering the cultural and natural heritage of the Allen Valleys
Heritage conservation training
The training needs of those taking part in the scheme was varied, and often only identified once projects had got underway. Training ranged from group events to individual training courses.
- More than 80 training events were held during the lifetime of the scheme
- Skills training include: hedgerow restoration, social media training, lime mortaring, fundraising, river restoration, forest schools training and historic building research.