1st workshop in South West Devon (Modbury), UK on Heritage in Cultural Landscapes

2015-01-16

Following the river Erme from the upland to the coast, the Atlantic region of South West Devon (South Western England) encompasses a diversity of landscapes, with both rural and peri-urban characteristics. It is an everyday agricultural landscape that is connected to a multitude of values, ranging from heritage and biological diversity to scenery and tourism.

In the first HERCULES Workshop organized on January 16th, 2015 in Modbury was attended by various stakeholders despite the extremely bad weather conditions on this evening.

The first 45 minutes were dedicated to a speech by Professor Peter Howard on defining cultural landscapes, the history of the process in defining it and the resulting two systems at play, with the issues arising from it.

This presentation was followed by a very insightful debate on different crucial points:

  • The people’s reluctance to comment about the landscape issues, despite the fact that it is of huge importance (Modbury is about to witness probably the largest landscape changes in the last 1000 years). This is mainly due to the lack of knowledge about the European Landscape Convention;
  • The commonly shared feeling that the ins and outs of the project have to better reach the wider community. To resolve this issue, several solutions have been proposed, such as using the school and the children to disseminate local issues to the wider public, as well as including the project into existing events which the community is already well engaged in.
  • The need to “give something back to the community” by continuing to work on the school angle, but also by fostering competition, which is believed to encourage engagement.

Further informative meetings between stakeholders are planned in order to come up with a rigid protocol before the end of March 2015.

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