Soldiers and sailors walk
Wembury Primary School
We worked with the communities in Holbeton and Wembury to help them map their local area in a variety of different ways as part of a wider European project called Cordiale, a cross border initiative working on sustainable landscape management.
This project gave us an opportunity to interact with a wider range of people and organisations in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), to inform them of our work and encourage their participation. Helping communities to understand more about their landscape also provides an effective way for more widespread lobbying for landscape quality.
Local communities need to be able to competently and confidently feed in their views about landscape, as part of the National Planning Policy Framework or AONB Management Planning.
To facilitate this they need to be engaged in and connected with that landscape, with a good understanding of the value and benefits which that landscape brings.
Helping communities to understand more about their landscape structure was a driver of the tools we selected.
We chose two contrasted parishes to take part in this project.
The project had to be:
A key element of this project was that, due to the design of the activities, we were able to place people in exact spots to ask their opinion of that landscape. This meant we could accurately test and compare perceptions of particular landscape character types and views.
The project was delivered through four themes:
The activities below were selected as they encourage people to explore landscapes in their local area and collect their perceptions of landscape character.
1. The Great Landscape Quest
The quest was made up of three main activities:
2. Landscape Geocaches
This was a project by students from Plymouth University to set up a series of geocaches across the South Devon AONB to encourage people to explore the parish and record and share their perceptions and views of the landscape.
3. Rate My View App
Pioneering new app developed by South Devon AONB, with the support of Plymouth University, to record and share views and perceptions of the landscape.
Following the activities above a number of sessions were held with participants to help them find out stories behind their landscape.
This was followed by discovery walks around the parish to explore the ‘hidden’ landscape. These included farm walks, history walks, and walks with an expert.
A number of more involved projects were carried out over a longer period of time, working with partners to explore a particular subject.
Further development building on previous work was also undertaken.
For example, The Big Feature, an element of the Quest, was expanded to include looking at key features of a view, breaking them down into component parts and placing values on them.
This was further expanded to look at how new initiatives could be placed into this landscape, such as renewable energy installations and comparison of landscape character types.
By developing good relationships with the local communities, and engaging them in this project, we have been able to identify projects and funding to continue work in these parishes in the future.
All of the material gathered through this project has been geolocated to its point of source and has been put onto a Cordiale interactive map.
This has created a geographical pinboard of people’s experiences, perceptions and feelings about their place.
It shows material that was collected, created, shared, written, drawn, told and captured over the duration of the project, and represents the community’s own sense of place.