Supporting Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme

When Landscape Partnerships bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund they go through a 2 stage process. A successful stage 1 application releases funds for the development stage whereby they strengthen their proposition through further research and engagement. R4C does a lot of work in this space and what follows is a recent case from the Land of the Fanns

The Land of the Fanns is an intriguing area on the north bank of the River Thames, between the Dartford Crossing and Brentwood. Once fenland (Fanns is Saxon for Fen), and coastal marsh the landscape is now predominantly an industrial one with pockets of important wildlife habitat and heritage features. 

We undertook 2 separate but linked pieces of work; a Skills & Training Audit and the development of an Interpretation Strategy.

Assessing the Skills & Training needs and opportunities across a whole landscape is a complex process. There is a lot of local variation to the way land and heritage features are managed, those heritage aspects of the landscape are very varied and there are many organisations working in different ways and with different audiences. To help the partnership maintain a landscape scale focus a framework, which we called Landscape Learning developed been developed (see figure) which has four components. 

This framework has helped guide both the audit and our subsequent thinking about skills and training.

The Interpretation Strategy was delivered in collaboration with our good friends at Telltale. Interpretation was identified as a key tool for building public recognition, appreciation and understanding of the Land of the Fanns. People remember what they think and talk about. Four landscape themes identify what the Partnership want to get people thinking and talking about in the Land of the Fanns.

These themes were created through a participative process with partnership members and other key stakeholders to ensure that there was support for the emerging strategy. This was critically important as there was already a lot of interpretation taking place on individual sites such as Country Parks and Nature Reserves but there was little or no connection between them. Interpretation had to be given the opportunity to breakout across the landscape.

For more information contact Mike

You can find our more about the project on the Thames Chase Trust website