A conservation team has been handed almost £100,000 for its Helping Hands for Heritage project.
The Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was designated in 1995 and straddles the boundary between Cornwall and Devon. It encompasses a diverse range of history and culture along with a rich tapestry of landscape and a strong sense of place.
The Tamar Valley AONB team has now been awarded £93,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a scheme to create a trained volunteer taskforce within the area.
Starting this May, the Helping Hands for Heritage project will bring together various organisations and offer opportunities for training and new volunteers.
It is aiming to build the “Valley Volunteers” into a thriving, skilled and knowledgeable taskforce to help
address some of the loss and damage to the varied heritage of the area.
Corinna Woodall, Tamar Valley AONB manager, said: “Volunteers will be our eyes and ears on the ground and will enable us to understand more about the AONB and World Heritage Site Landscape.
“This initiative will develop locally grown volunteers with a range of backgrounds and interests to be equipped and to take on the stewardship of the heritage in their local patch.”
Nerys Watts, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the South West, said: “Our natural heritage, whether it be our grasslands or ancient woods, pollinating insects or wild plants, or landscapes and geology, is crucial for our survival and wellbeing, yet we know that it is being lost at a fast rate due to the activities of humans.
“To halt the loss of our habitats and species we need to engage more people in learning about and appreciating our natural heritage.
“That’s why we were delighted to have the opportunity to support Tamar Valley AONB with their project, which will increase the skills of existing volunteers and provide opportunities for a wider range of people to engage with and appreciate their local area.”