Nidderdale has received an earmarked first-round pass of £1.23 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme for the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership Scheme, it was announced today.
Working in partnership with Upper Nidderdale’s rural communities, including farmers and landowners, the project aims to restore heritage features like field barns, dry stone walls, hay meadows and ancient woodlands, deepen people’s understanding of the landscape, and create new opportunities for celebrating and enjoying Upper Nidderdale.
The award includes development funding of £48,426 to help Nidderdale AONB develop a detailed plan in consultation with local people. An application for the full grant will then be submitted in 2013.
Since June 2011, Nidderdale AONB has invited more than 25 organisations to contribute to preparing the first-round bid. The list includes Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Nidderdale Visual Arts, Yorkshire Water, High & Low Bishopside Parish Council, Howstean Gorge, Yorkshire Dales Farmer Network, Craven College, Nidderdale Plus, Natural England, Nidderdale Chase Heritage Group, Studfold Farm and the Yorkshire Peat Partnership.
The bid is focussed on Upper Nidderdale and covers nearly 100 square miles of farmland and moorland upstream of Pateley Bridge.
The list of outline projects for further development during the next 12 months includes a ‘Travel Through Time’ heritage experience, a documentary film about the Nidderdale Show, heritage skills training, upland farming apprenticeships, ‘Upper Nidderdale Comes to Town’ festivals in Leeds and Bradford, activities for young people and improved habitats for upland birds.
Harrogate Borough Councillor Nigel Simms, Chair of the AONB’s Joint Advisory Committee said:
This is just the best news for the Nidderdale AONB and we are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Maintaining Upper Nidderdale’s heritage costs a lot of money, and despite decades of careful stewardship by farmers and the local community, finding spare money to invest in repair and maintenance has been a big challenge. We are delighted that this award will help to meet the cost of getting Upper Nidderdale’s natural and historic environment back into tip-top condition once again.
Explaining the importance of HLF’s support, Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and Humber, said:
Upper Nidderdale is a dramatic part of Yorkshire’s countryside and of particular importance due to its huge diversity of flora, fauna and bird populations. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s initial support will help kick start work to conserve this precious landscape and also put in place training in local heritage skills, including much-needed apprenticeships for young people.