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Theme 1: Conservation

CVLLP is a programme of interlinked projects that sit within the following themes:

Conservation projects

Conserving or restoring the built and natural features that create the historic landscape character of the Churnet Valley.

Sustainable woodland project

1 full-time post to support sustainable woodland management through advice and assistance to external funding, supported by RSPB

Farm conservation project

1 full-time post supported by SWT to advise farmers and support applications to HLS based upon grassland research

Headwaters project

6 distinct headwater projects designed to improve water quality at a diffuse level

Grazing animals study

Study into the potential for grazing as a conservation tool in the CVLLP

Boundary project


Conservation of dry stone walls and hedges in partnership with agreed HLS projects

Caldon Canal Vegetation

Managing the woodland, woodland fringe, boundary and freshwater habitats along the canal

Railway Heritage Project

Heritage projects, crossing bridge and water tower together with interpretation.

Bridge 70

Conservation, renovation etc of historic bridge

Milestones Project

A project to involve people in upgrading milestones of various types, which will then be used in interpretation

Confirming how we will conserve or enhance each of the different types of heritage

While the Churnet Valley Living Landscape has a very diverse and rich heritage, our development has identified a number of key areas of work:

Landscape scale heritage

Our Local Food Research and Landscape Character Assessment has identified the woodlands, grasslands and boundary features of the Churnet Valley as important heritage elements that need to be restored and conserved at a landscape scale. In order to do this we will work across the valley with landowners and the local community to:

  • bring unworked and abandoned woodland into sustainable management
  • manage the woodlands along the canal/river towpath as exemplars and demonstration sites for sustainable woodland management
  • support land managers into environmental programmes, through Farm Action Plans;
  • integrate freshwater quality management from headwaters to rivers
  • determine how best to bring conservation grazing to important grasslands declining due to lack of management
  • train people in boundary maintenance

Built Heritage within the landscape

Our Living Landscape is a result of geology, environmental and human intervention, within the valley there is a vast and comprehensive record of our history. The knowledge of the area within our partnership supported by our Hotspot Audit and Built Heritage Audit has helped put this heritage into context as described within the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership Statement of Significance. From this work we have identified two flagship practical heritage projects within the valley that:

  • restore and conserve an important heritage feature (CVLLP 7 Bridge 70) currently endangered
  • restore and improve an existing railway heritage resource at Cheddleton and Leekbrook Stations (CVLLP)

These projects will act as points of reference for those interested in the industrial heritage of the valley and act to promote other projects; thus we fully expect to be asked to support other projects brought forward from within the community. Some of these projects may be eligible for the delegated grant project (see Participation) while others won’t; with that in mind our Heritage Steering Group requested a small reactionary grant to support heritage projects brought forward during the CVLLP programme. We have this project drafted, but due to budget issues it is currently a reserve project. While our Public Consultations have highlighted the benefit of this reactionary fund the Heritage Steering Group brought forward a separate project based around the restoration and maintenance of all milestones markers in the valley. This is a project that links road milestones, track milestones, canal milestones and railway markers initiated for the conservation of these features alone; however, they have now been adopted as a key element of in-field indentification of locations for the interpretation project.

Meeting conservation standards for each kind of heritage

The delivery of physical improvements and the supply of advice and support to others within the heritage projects of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership (CVLLP) will be delivered by the organisations best equipped and skilled to do so. In addition they will be supported by the CVLLP core team which will include a Practical Projects Officer who will work across projects to help ensure consistency in standards such as welfare, health & safety and practical work by volunteers. Overseeing all of the projects, the Partnership Board will remain responsible for project governance and key individuals from partner organisations; English Heritage, Natural England and Staffordshire County Council will remain actively involved in ensuring the work meets the correct quality standards.