£1.3 million to help improve landscape in Havering and beyond

Published: Friday, 16th December 2016

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme has been granted £1.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This will help improve the quality of the local landscape and increase awareness of, and access to the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The partnership includes Havering Council, Barking & Dagenham Council, Thurrock Council, Brentwood Council, Essex County Council, Thames Chase Trust, Thames21, Forestry Commission and Thames Estuary Partnership.

The ‘Fanns’ landscape, which encompasses Thames Chase Community Forest on the edge of east London and south-west Essex, may not be a landscape familiar to everyone. It extends from the River Rom in the west, towards Basildon in the east and from Brentwood in the north to the River Thames.

Thanks to HLF the Scheme, which will begin in April 2017, will offer exciting opportunities for local people to get involved in a variety of events and activities aimed at understanding and restoring local heritage. Activities will range from travelling archaeology exhibitions to opportunities to learn new skills in natural, built and archaeological heritage.

There will also be a community action fund to support local community projects and an arts festival celebrating the landscape.

Councillor Melvin Wallace, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Engagement said:

“We are very pleased to receive this generous grant. The project will promote heritage restoration, increase physical access to Havering’s natural and cultural heritage, and provide educational opportunities for local people.

“This scheme will also provide residents with a renewed appreciation of the significance of their local landscape and will ultimately better equip local communities to work together and protect the land.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “This fascinating project will help protect and preserve a rare and under threat working landscape which hugs the borders of London and Essex. With a rich history going back to the Saxons and including historic buildings and ancient monuments as well as protected species and habitats, the essence of this landscape can sometimes be under-appreciated, so we are delighted that this funding will help to reconnect communities with the natural heritage on their doorsteps”.