Our HLF projects

Heritage Lottery Funded

Acquisition of Green’s land with training and learning (2015-2017)

This “Our Heritage” grant of £78,600 towards a total cost of just over £96,000 has allowed the LOHP to purchase a further 1.9 hectares of land within the Thelnetham Fen SSSI. This land is key to re-establishing the integrity of this valuable wetland and the purchase brings the whole of the SSSI into conservation management for the first time. In addition to the land purchase we will be:

  • Undertaking conservation work on the site, including fencing, scrub removal and mowing
  • Providing training to volunteers in wetland management, survey techniques and the use of GIS, as well as use of power tools and first aid
  • Developing a management plan for the land
  • Conducting guided walks for the general public
  • Organising a “Bioblitz” to encourage volunteer naturalists to record the wildlife currently present on the site

Restoration of New Fen, Thelnetham (2014-2016)

In 2014 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the LOHP an “Our Heritage” grant of £75,000 towards a total project cost of nearly £107,000. This project enabled the purchase of 2.23 hectares of land, adjacent to Parkers Piece and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust managed Thelnetham Middle Fen – the land is now known as Thelnetham New Fen. Other activities within the project are:

  • Baseline surveys of the site to inform future restoration and management activities
  • Restoration work to the abandoned plantation woodland on the west of the site, restoring open glades with short rotation coppice woodland
  • Establishment of public access to the site, together with interpretation material
  • Training of volunteers in woodland management techniques, and training made available to volunteers and the local community  on the value, conservation importance and management of valley fens
  • A learning programme for local schools including field-based learning
  • Addition of information about the site to the LOHP website

Conservation & Learning in the Upper Little Ouse Valley (2011-2014)

In 2011 the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £370,400 towards a three-year, £475,000 project, enabled the LOHP to increase its land holding, restore precious fen habitats and develop as an organisation by expanding its range of activities. The HLF project encompassed:

  • The purchase of Webbs Fen, a very important wildlife site in the Little Ouse valley. Named 'Webbs Fen' after its former owner, Mr John Webb, it is being restored to fen habitat and opened for public access. This 5.6ha site brought the total area of land under LOHP management to 65 ha.
  • The restoration for wildlife and landscape not only of Webbs Fen but also of two more land acquisitions, Broomscot Common and Scarfe Meadows in the parish of Garboldisham.
  • An exciting new three-year project, 'Conservation & Learning in the Upper Little Ouse Valley', which expanded the LOHP's range of activities, working with other organisations and individuals to increase community involvement in protecting, understanding and celebrating the local landscape heritage.

This project included the following activities:

  • The production of a web-based learning resource for primary schools
  • A project with Garboldisham Primary school run by the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich
  • A project for aspiring creative writers and artists inspired by the valley’s heritage and also led by the Sainsbury Centre
  • A major and multi-faceted study of the valley's history, including:
    • Work on the landscape history, supported by Suffolk County Council and the University of East Anglia
    • Work on social history of the valley and its fens, again supported by the University and harnessing the expertise and enthusiasm of local history groups
    • An oral history project to capture the memories of local people before their vast store of knowledge about the past use of the valley and its fens is lost. This volunteer led project was supported by the Norfolk Sound Archive
  • A new archive for the valley, accessible through the LOHP’s website, houses the information generated from these activities and will continue to be expanded in future
  • Better communication with
    • the local community through a new colour newsletter delivered free to all households in the project area and
    • a wider audience through a greatly expanded website