Greensand Country Landscape Partnership seeks Conservation & Project Officer

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

Could you make a difference to a whole landscape?

BRCC and the Greensand Trust are the lead bodies for the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, recently established with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Greensand Country comprises the Greensand Ridge (a 35 mile-long narrow wooded sandstone ridge to the south of Bedford), and the Flit Valley.

We are now seeking to fill the important role of Conservation and Project Officer. Help us to create a living and working landscape that is cherished by present and future generations and a rich natural and built heritage which is sustained and understood.

To apply

For further information on how to apply, please download the information pack below. If you would like an informal chat please call Claire on: 07534484971.

Application deadline: Monday 31st July 2017 at 9am

Interviews: Wednesday 9th August 2017 (or an alternative date can be arranged subject to availability)

Downloads:

Information pack – GSCLP Conservation and Project Officer

BRCC Equality & Diversity monitoring form

For more information about the Partnership and the programme visit www.greensandcountry.com.

 

 

 

Etonbury Green Wheel Masterplan announced!

Written by Cliff Andrews on . Posted in Biggleswade Green Wheel, Latest News, Rural Development

We are pleased to announce that the long-awaited Etonbury Green Wheel Masterplan is now our for public consultation (click here):

Produced by BRCC in partnership with CBC and the local stakeholders, the Masterplan identifies proposals for creating an off-road corridor for walkers and riders around the communities of Arlesey, Fairfield and Stotfold, which passes through and beside areas of landscape, wildlife and heritage value.

Subject to consultation responses, it is hoped that the finalised masterplan will be adopted by all stakeholders later this year – and that the practical creation of the Wheel will continue over the next few years.

Downloads

Download: the Etonbury Green Wheel Consultation Flyer (PDF 780KB)

Invitation to submit a tender for ‘Creating a Brand for the Greensand Country’

Written by Lisa King on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

The Greensand  Country Landscape Partnership is an exciting Landscape Partnership project focused on the Greensand Ridge in Bedfordshire, led by the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the Greensand Trust.  ‘Greensand Country’ is an island of distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside, based on a band of higher ground stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, rising out of the surrounding clay vales. It contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country, often surrounding notable manor houses. This landscape character is a legacy of its underlying Greensand geology, which led to much of it being regarded as ‘marginal land’ not suitable for agriculture, as well as its management over centuries by major estates. The area is one of Natural England’s distinct ‘National Character Areas (NCA 90 – The Wooded Greensand Ridge).

As part of our Development stage we commissioned a Landscape Character Assessment and an Audience Development and Interpretation plan (ADIP).  These both told us unequivocally that this is an under-recognised and under-appreciated landscape.

We want to create a coherent landscape which people identify and where we can tell a joined up story.

The term ‘Greensand Country’ has been adopted by the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership (GSCLP) to encompass the entire landscape and create a shared identity.

We now need create a brand for the Greensand Country; a logo; branding guidelines and a marketing and communications plan.

If you would like to submit a tender for this work, please ask for further details from: clairep@bedsrcc.org.uk

Claire Poulton.

Programme Manager
Greensand Country Landscape Partnership

£1.66 million from Heritage Lottery Fund awarded to help preserve the character of the Greensand Country landscape

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Latest News

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership (managed by BRCC) is delighted to announce that it has secured £1.66m National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support an array of exciting projects which will help us raise awareness of the hidden heritage of the Greensand Country and to reverse the gradual decline in the distinct character of this beautiful and loved landscape.

‘Greensand Country’ is an island of higher ground, which is made up of the Greensand Ridge and the surrounding river valleys. It stretches from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, rising out of the flatter clay vales. The area’s sandy soils were not suitable for agriculture, so by medieval times the land was mainly used for grazing, woodland, deer hunting and keeping rabbits. Much of this ‘poor’ land had been used to support the foundation of monasteries, but when these were dissolved under Henry VIII, the land was given away to those in the king’s favour, who built their manor houses and parks up on the former monastic estates. As a result of this history, the area contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining lowland heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country.

However, the landscape’s very distinctive character has been weakening over decades due to modern development and changes in land use. Valuable habitats are becoming fragmented; views of and from the area are being lost or impaired and traditional heritage skills are dying out.

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership has been formed by a range of partners in the area who will work with landowners and local communities to take a joined up approach to meeting the challenges in the area. The Partnership is led by BRCC and the Greensand Trust, and also includes the RSPB, The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Recording and Monitoring Centre, Bedfordshire Geology Group, Sustrans, British Horse Society, Flitwick Town Council, Shuttleworth College, local landscape author Brian Kerr, Community Voluntary Service, The Shuttleworth Trust, Federation of Small Businesses, Arnold White Estates Limited and Clophill Heritage Trust.

The 4-year programme will deliver the following:

  • Restoration and expansion of key habitats such as lowland heathland and grasslands
  • Events, workshops and festivals focused on the landscape and its heritage
  • Improvements to footpaths, cycle ways and bridleways
  • Much greater provision of information about the area, its hidden stories and its history, and its significance to our national and local heritage
  • Training and apprenticeships in order to develop the skills needed to look after this landscape for the future
  • Opportunities for local communities to volunteer and bid for funding for their own heritage projects

The Partnership is now hard at work getting started on the programme and recruiting three staff (see job advertisement here).

Jon Boswell, Chief Executive at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and Chair of the GCLP, said: “We are thrilled to have gained this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver our Landscape Partnership programme with our partners in the area. Even locally, the fascinating heritage of the Greensand Country is not well known. As a result of this funding, we will be able to preserve the distinctive character of much of this beautiful landscape, and provide a multitude of opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy and learn about the landscape and contribute to its future conservation.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “From healthy heathlands and working woodlands to storytelling and geotrails, we’re delighted to support this project which will achieve a sustainable future for the Greensand landscape and reconnect people with the natural heritage on their doorstep.

“Alongside a diverse partnership of organisations, volunteers and communities will play an integral role in this exciting vision for Greensand Country, gaining the skills and experience needed to not only reverse its decline but ensure it continues to thrive beyond the lifespan of the project.”

If you would like to learn more or get involved please see http://bedsrcc.org.uk/rural/greensand-country-landscape-partnership/

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is made possible by National Lottery players. Without them we couldn’t fund the project.

 

Seeking new staff for our LEADER grant programmes

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Beds & Hunts Claylands, Greensand Ridge LAG, Job vacancies, Latest News, Rural Development

Are you seeking a new challenge in the Bedfordshire area? Could you assist rural businesses to negotiate the challenges of applying for European funding?

BRCC is the accountable body for two Local Action Groups (LAGs), covering the Greensand Ridge and Beds & Hunts Claylands areas. Following a review of staffing requirements, we are recruiting for two new positions for our delivery team:

LAG Officer
Download: Application information (PDF)

LAG Support Officer
Download: Application information (PDF)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring
Please complete, and return with your application, our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form, which can be downloaded below:

Download: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Looking for our new Landscape Partnership posts instead? Visit here.

To Apply

Please send:

1.    A CV which shows us how your knowledge, skills and experience fit the role as described in the person specification and job description.

2.    A supporting statement which describes:

a.    The experience and knowledge you have which would enable you to carry out the role as described in the job description.

b.    How you fit with the selection criteria as set out in the person specification.

c.    Why you would like this role.

3.    The Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Please send these to Lisa King at lisak@bedsrcc.org.uk or by post to BRCC, The Old School, Cardington, Bedford MK44 3SX.

Come and visit the community vineyard!

Written by Jane Markham on . Posted in Latest News, Warden Abbey Vineyard

This year the Friends of Warden Abbey Vineyard will be offering more tours of BRCC’s community vineyard than ever before.

As well as monthly vineyard tour days between May and September, a couple of new history tours have been added to the programme. These walks round the vineyard will be led by volunteer Margaret Roberts who is writing a book on the history of the abbey.  As well as telling the story of the abbey, she’ll interpret the landscape features surrounding the vineyard and what they reveal about the life of the abbey’s occupants.

All the dates for 2017 vineyard tours, new history tours, and the main Open Day in September are now on the vineyard website, where you can book on-line. Gift vouchers for tours available too! Follow this link for details:  wardenvineyard.org.uk/tours

 

 

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership seeks applicants for new roles.

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

We have recently secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver an array of exciting projects, which will help us raise awareness of the heritage value of the Greensand Country and reverse the gradual decline in the distinct landscape character of this beautiful and loved place.

BRCC is the accountable body for the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, a new Partnership established with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Greensand Country comprises the Greensand Ridge (a 35 mile-long narrow wooded sandstone ridge to the south of Bedford), and the Flit Valley.

We are now seeking to fill three new roles.

Communications and Engagement Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Conservation and Project Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Programme Support Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring
Please complete, and return with your application, our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form, which can be downloaded below:

Download: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Looking for our LEADER programme posts instead? Visit here.

To Apply

Please send:

1.    A CV which shows us how your knowledge, skills and experience fit the role as described in the person specification and job description.

2.    A supporting statement which describes:

a.    The experience and knowledge you have which would enable you to carry out the role as described in the job description.

b.    How you fit with the selection criteria as set out in the person specification.

c.    Why you would like this role.

3.    The Monitoring Form

Please e mail these to Claire Poulton at clairep@bedsrcc.org.uk, or by post to BRCC, The Old School, Cardington, Bedford MK44 3SX.

If you would like an informal chat please call Claire on: 07534484971.

PLEASE NOTE: THESE POSTIONS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED (1/3/2017)

CPRE Mark for Warden Abbey Vineyard

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Ridge LAG, Latest News, Warden Abbey Vineyard

BRCC is delighted that our Warden Abbey Vineyard won a prestigious CPRE Mark at the Living Countryside Awards on Tuesday night in the Sustainable Enterprise category.

The Awards were presented by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis at John O’ Gaunt Golf Club near Potton.

This adds to the success of two other BRCC projects at the last Awards in 2014, when the Biggleswade Jubilee Wood won a CPRE Mark and the Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre won a silver award.

There were also two CPRE Marks and a commendation for projects that had received funding through our Greensand Ridge Rural Development Programme: Jordans Mill, Clophill Eco Lodges and Rushmere Country Park Visitor Centre.

You can find out more here

Warden Abbey Vineyard Open Day & Wine Sale – 11th September 2016

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Warden Abbey Vineyard

Bedfordshire’s oldest vineyard is 30 this year!  Discover the hidden secrets of the medieval vineyard and abbey, why and how the monks made wine, and how we care for the vines all year round.

There will also be tours, wine tastings, other local food stalls, a “pop up” wine school, BBQ and other refreshments. Our Warden Abbey wines will be available to taste & buy (cash and cheques only please).  Also a rare opportunity to visit both the vineyard and the historic Warden Abbey building which is being thrown open by the Landmark Trust.

Located near Old Warden, the vineyard is now run by BRCC as a community vineyard which is cared for all year round by volunteers and works with other local charities and schools. The Open Day is organised by the Friends of Warden Abbey Vineyard and is our main fundraiser of the year, to keep this historic vineyard for the community.

Open 11 am to 4 pm. Entry: Adults £2, accompanied children free.

The vineyard is on a gentle slope and the ground is uneven and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility.

For further information visit the Warden Abbey Vineyard website.

BRCC’s Warden Abbey Vineyard featured on BBC Look East

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Volunteering, Warden Abbey Vineyard

Our Warden Abbey Community Vineyard project had a visit from a BBC crew yesterday in the glorious sunshine.

A two and a half minute snippet shown on BBC Look East that evening included short interviews with volunteers, Vineyard Manager Jane Markham and Master of Wine Derek Smedley, as well as footage of caring for the vines and a tasting of the ‘dosage’ for our 2014 sparkling wine, due to come out before Christmas.

You can still watch on the BBC iplayer until 7pm today at http://bbc.in/2bddeJx.

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    Cardington
    Bedford
    MK44 3SX

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