An ambitious scheme to restore and protect Bath’s natural heritage, as well as providing better access for the public, has secured £1.65 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Bathscape Landscape Partnership officially launched the project delivery stage of ‘Bathscape’ at an event held at the city’s Roman Baths, following confirmation of the HLF funding award.
The scheme will bring to life 25 projects over the next 5 years that aim to restore, and improve access to, the UNESCO World Heritage City’s landscape.
Bathscape will also provide a wide range of training and skill development opportunities for local people.
Chaired by Andrew Grant, founder and director of Bath based landscape architect Grant Associates, Bathscape is a partnership of conservation organisations, community groups, businesses, universities and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Guests at Bathscape’s launch included Councillor Karen Walker, Chair of BANES, and Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Bath, as well as other community representatives and stakeholders.
Match-funding, together with donations from partners and volunteers in the form of time and material, will increase the total invested in Bath’s landscape by the scheme to £2.2 million.
Bathscape’s projects were developed through 18 months of consultation with residents, landowners and organisations, and partnership will continue to be at the heart of their delivery.
The Bathscape area covers 101 sq km and stretches from Charmy Down to the north of the city to Combe Hay in the south, and from Kingsdown to the east to Corston in the west.
Projects in the scheme include:
- Improving the condition and management of important woodlands, grasslands and historic landscape features;
- Providing training, opportunities and resources for local people to get involved in the study and enhancement of the local landscape;
- A five-year programme of walks and other public events in the landscape including the annual Bathscape Walking Festival and healthy walking groups linked to GP surgeries;
- A waymarked ‘round Bath’ promoted walking network;
- Working with schools and education providers to encourage outdoor learning and develop skills.
Andrew Grant, Chair of Bathscape Landscape Partnership, said: “We are thrilled to see the official launch of Bathscape – all thanks to National Lottery players.
“Bath’s green setting is world famous and constitutes an integral part of its World Heritage City status. Through these 25 projects we want to conserve the heritage of the landscape but also to create ways for many more people to enjoy, understand, engage with and benefit from this amazing asset.
“Along with more than 100,000 people, the area is home to a huge variety of wildlife, features of historic, geological and archaeological interest and abounds with cultural history.
“Over the next five years we will be encouraging people to join us in helping to protect, and enjoy, our stunning local landscape.”