Salcey Forest and Yardley Chase Heritage Lottery Fund Project
19 Apr 2009
Thanks to Growth Area funding for Research and Development , RNRP was able to put forward a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund under their Landscape Partnership (LP) Scheme for the project 'Unlocking the Character of Salcey Forest and Yardley Chase'. This enabled a project team and partners to prepare and implement an Environmental Management and Investment Plan for the conservation and enhancement of the project area.
An Environmental Management and Investment Plan was submitted to the HLF as a stage 1 full bid by 1st October 2007. The plan was informed by:
Conservation and Management Plan, bringing together and identifying gaps in existing ecological, historic and archaeological survey data.
This was be supported by the following:
- Access Plan designed to broaden physical access to the area, extend the opportunities for education, recreation and leisure, and increase community participation in the management and development of the site.
- Training Plan identifying partner training needs, training requirements to support a volunteer and community participation programme, and the opportunities to support existing courses with 'on the job' experience, work placements, customised training in heritage and conservation management for other disciplines, and specific accredited training modules in conservation
- Audience Development Plan identifying the interests and requirements of the local community, users and visitors. Members of the public and local groups were invited to provide feedback on the project at Consultation Workshops which took place in May at Hackleton Village Hall, Yardley Hastings Village Hall and Hartwell Village Hall.
Some interesting feedback has arisen from these workshops where attendees could find out more about the aims of the project and were asked to complete questionnaires. Copies of which were also available at Salcey Forest Cafe, Castle Ashby Rural Crafts Yard and the Fishmarket Gallery in Northampton town centre and could be downloaded from this site.
All the above was analysed and the ensuing proposed visions for the area written into a Masterplan and Business Proposal for the area.
Until recently, Salcey Forest has been unknown to the public, but has gained wide reaching interest following the opening of the innovative Treetop Walkway in 2007. The limited public access to Yardley Chase has meant the retention of its character as a secret forest. The LP scheme would unveil this hidden treasure, whilst maintaining its intrinsic character as a hidden forest with a rich depth of history, as treasures to be discovered.
The RNRP partnership worked closely with and was informed in kind by a project steering group comprising: Compton Estates Management Services, Forestry Commission, Northamptonshire ACRE, South Northamptonshire Council, Ministry of Defence, the Wildlife Trust and the RNRP project Stakeholder Steering Group.