We’re very happy to welcome Sarah from our partner organisation, The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership to write a guest post for our blog…
New Lanark World Heritage Site is the most spectacular place I’ve worked in. I could never tire of the sight of the rooftops (blanketed in snow as I type) as I descend the hill in the morning and the powerful flow of the rusty coloured Clyde from our office window in the Old School.
And that’s what my job as Communications Support at the Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) is all about- celebrating the amazing landscape and heritage that make the Clyde and Avon Valleys unique.
New Lanark World Heritage Site is just one of our 10 partners that we work with to deliver 68 different environmental, cultural and historical projects across the Clyde and Avon valleys- distinct through their unmistakeable patchwork of ancient woodlands, gorges, country estates, orchards and market gardening heritage, farmland and industry.
Projects range from undertaking essential woodland management that look after the area’s rich biodiversity to researching and recording designed landscapes, exhibitions and events.
Here at New Lanark a number of projects have already been completed. Offering something for everyone, these have included woodland pathway restoration, landscape art courses and the creation of Clearburn Natural Play and Picnic Site.
Outdoor enthusiasts can now enjoy the re-instated pathways that criss-cross the woodland overlooking New Lanark. In the 19th century, Robert Owen laid out these pathways for the benefit of the mill-workers which eventually became overgrown and impassable through years of neglect. Now walkers can once again enjoy walks taking in the stunning views down on to the mill complex and the Clyde, just as they were intended.
Those with an interest in the arts were also able to enjoy a talk on the History of Art in the Clyde Valley by Jane Masters, Heritage Manager at New Lanark in Autumn 2013. Following in the footsteps of famous artists such as Alexander Naysmyth and J.M.W. Turner, local artist Veronica Liddell then guided 11 budding artistes in a Landscape Painting Course, using Dundaff Linn as inspiration.
For the more playfully inclined, Clearburn Natural Play and Picnic Site at New Lanark offers far more than a traditional playpark. Opened last Autumn, swings and roundabouts have been omitted in favour of burns and fire pits, and it’s been a joy watching muddy but happy children enjoy the site and surrounding woodland, even through the bleak winter weather.
And there’s plenty more to come, funding dependent. An Art Sculpture Trail featuring artworks will tell stories from local folklore to history and nature of the area, leading from Castlebank Park through New Lanark to the Falls of Clyde, offering new ways to enjoy the landscape. North Lodge Bridge, which once housed a lodge where 19th century visitors would buy tickets to visit the Falls of Clyde, will also be restored as an important access point for visitors to New Lanark and the neighbouring Falls of Clyde.
And that’s just a taster of the variety of projects that are part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership. Check out www.clydeandavonvalley.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for further information on projects, partners, training and volunteering opportunities as well as events.
Sarah – New Lanark Guest blogger (Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership)