Top image: Preparing for a Mass Mini Beast Hunt:
Eve Mulholland with a local Beaver group, 2018.
Photo credit: Maddi Nicholson
Landscape Working Party
Landscape Working Party is a programme dedicated to exploring, re-invigorating and enhancing the local green spaces around the islands and bays of Barrow and Furness, voted Number 1 Borough in England for the Quality of its Natural Heritage Assets (Royal Society for Arts and Industry – Heritage Index commissioned by The Heritage Lottery, 2016/17).
Mountains and Molehills: Slag bank Walk, 2018
Photo credit: Caitlin Daw
Coordinated by Art Gene’s Landscape Engagement Coordinator, Eve Mulholland, the Landscape Working Party is funded through The Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness Coastal Team, through the Coastal Communities fund. The programme works in the wider areas of Barrow and Furness linking communities with their natural heritage assets and promoting health and well-being.
Working closely with local communities, schools and groups the Landscape Working Party deliver a range of activities and workshops to engage people with their local landscapes. Not only using workshops, moth trapping, summer family programmes, walks and talks, bat walks, practical planting, art and surveying sessions as opportunities to build skills, knowledge and friendships within the community, but to be used as a means of channelling the perspectives of local people into the town’s future by gathering feedback, values and opinions of our coastline to collate into a case to support funding bids.
Re-wilding Barrow project
Re-wilding Barrow is a Landscape Working Party ground-up project developing to grow and propagate local wildflower species, including the elusive Walney Geranium, to later plant back out around the Borough. Maximising the function and innovation of the Isle of Walney Community Growing Space, the projects long-term prospects are to create and extend wildlife habitats to support, enhance and make the urban core more resilient for people and for nature.
Partnering with University of Cumbria’s Back on Our Map (BOOM) South Cumbria Species Reintroduction programme, we are delighted to be part the 4-year HLF funded project to help reintroduce 12 species around the lowland fringes of Morecambe Bay, launching in early 2020. As part of this, we will be focused on propagating the food plants for the Small Blue and Duke of Burgundy butterfly and growing on of Aspen with the local community and volunteers.
Re-wilding Barrow emphasises the importance of our native coastal species, historically and environmentally through educational activities. The projects initial phase in 2019 engaged with 14 local schools and community groups, along with many new families and volunteers, through arts, ecology and hands-on learning programmes and public events including summer family programme ‘Wild Wednesdays’ and ‘Plant a Tree on Walney’ day. Supported by Naturesave Trust, in May 2019 a 30×30 ft polytunnel was installed on Walney Community Growing Space. This is a vital resource used regularly as an education space for workshops, events and growing and propagation.
Meeting regularly on Fridays at Walney Community Growing Space. To volunteer or to get your school/ group involved in a free educational programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Eve on 01229 825085.
Keep an eye out for more things to come with Re-wilding Barrow and BOOM in 2020. You can join the Landscape Working Party Facebook page here.
With many thanks to our funders for the support:
The Naturesave Trust (funded by the activities of Naturesave Insurance, the UK’s leading ethical insurance provider for individuals, businesses, charities and community groups), Santander and Grow Wild funded by National Lottery Community Fund.