Anne-Louise Orange – Ryevitalise Programme Manager
The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnerships programme is for schemes led by a partnership of local, regional and national interests which aim to conserve specific areas of distinctive landscape character.
The Ryevitalise landscape incorporates the main upper Rye catchment, made up of the upper valleys of the Rye including the River Seph and the River Riccal. The Ryevitalise programme aims to protect and enhance the area’s natural and cultural heritage, resulting in a more natural, better functioning and better understood landscape.
We’ve got a remarkable abundance and variety of priority habitats and wildlife; a number of rare and priority species are strongly linked to the river valleys, including one of only three known UK populations of Alcathoe bat. The catchment is also a national hotspot for veteran trees – iconic and irreplaceable features of both our natural and cultural heritage.
Ryevitalise projects will cover four themes:
- Water Environment, investigating aquatic habitats of the Rye and rare and threatened species;
- Water Quality, working with land-owners and managers to reduce pollution;
- Water Level Management, working alongside our delivery partners to harness natural processes to manage the sources and pathways of flood waters; and
- Reconnecting People, improving the understanding of the river landscape by telling the story of its evolution and encouraging people to protect their heritage.
The new team – that’s me and Alex Cripps, Catchment Restoration Officer – are keen to hear from anyone with an interest in the Rye catchment. We will be consulting with partners, local landowners and wider communities over the coming months as we develop the projects we want to deliver, ensuring we incorporate peoples’ ideas and knowledge under the four themes. We look forward to meeting with/talking to as many people as we can as we develop our Stage 2 application.
*The Stage 2 application will be submitted to Heritage Lottery Fund in the autumn of 2018.