Opening up the Tamar for all

Laura White
Laura White

A host of new activities, events and training opportunities are underway in the Tamar Valley, thanks to the National Heritage Lottery Funded Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme. The scheme aims to create a brighter future for the Tamar Valley and its communities through a programme of 10 exciting projects where local people and visitors are able to get involved in a wide variety of ways.

The new events will connect people with the Tamar Valley, its wildlife, heritage and history and will include everything from large celebration events, forest bathing, river-based activities and volunteering days.
At the moment, volunteering opportunities include:

  1. getting hands on and practical through days out volunteering in the countryside, including wildlife surveying;
  2. leading walks as Walk Leaders;
  3. helping to run the events programme;
  4. supporting our Natural Connections wellbeing programme (see below for more information).

The 10 projects

  1. Small details, big difference
    We will support local communities to identify, research and protect the unique heritage of the Tamar Valley that matters to them. This may include physical work restoring heritage buildings, recording our unique oral history projects and identifying and protecting the little things that make the Tamar Valley so special.
  2. Heritage of innovation
    We’ll be exploring the pioneering innovation of the Tamar Valley including groundbreaking mining technology, the market gardening industry and inventive forestry techniques. We’ll develop a variety of creative media
    and activities to raise awareness and strengthen understanding of the evolution of the Tamar Valley.
  3. New approaches
    Working with farmers, landowners and communities, we will mitigate for climate change and improve water quality and the surrounding water environment. We’ll increase targeted tree and orchard planting along with the restoration of hedgerows. We’ll help provide farmer/landowner support in the post-Brexit world through the introduction of the new Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMS) agri-environment schemes.
  4. Accessible Tamar
    The project will improve sustainable and integrated transport and access into and through the Scheme area, including
    establishing a coast to coast, long-distance walking route. We’ll explore the feasibility of re-instating the Calstock Ferry Crossing for walkers and also develop options for a combined rail/ferry ticket for day trippers.
  5. Come visit and stay awhile
    The Tamar Valley has a huge amount to offer visitors and tourists, but both locally, (with the communities on its borders) and nationally, it is not as popular as it could be. Working with Visit Tamar Valley CIC we will create a destination website that will cover all the info someone needs to visit, what to do, where to stay, where to eat, much like the visit Dartmoor or visit Cornwall destination websites people have likely used when visiting other areas, stimulate an increase in visitor numbers and opportunities for local business. We will support local businesses to develop their digital presence, develop the sustainable tourism charter and work towards the Tamar Valley becoming a
    sustainable tourism hub.
  6. Celebrating Tamar
    Events will be based on themes unique to this beautiful place, including art, the seasons, local produce, special wildlife and water-based activities.
  7. Tamar Trainees
    This focuses on increases opportunities for employment through apprenticeship, trainee and internship schemes focused on meeting the skills needed in the Tamar and will link rural and urban populations in the Valley.
    Tailored bursaries, pastoral care and support will be available for those involved.
  8. River Explorers
    We want to address the disconnection between people and their local waterways by re-engaging individuals, communities and schools. Trained volunteers will adopt their local waterway and protect it by monitoring its biodiversity, pollution and sediment levels. A minimum of 10 schools will take part in fun workshops and learn how
    to care for their local rivers, ponds and streams. The work in schools will be delivered by West Country Rivers Trust.
    Events through the Valley will be run to bring people to their local waterways and help them find out what lives in them and how best to protect them.
  9. Natural Connections
    This project focuses on working with those who may face barriers such as lack of transport and mental and physical health barriers to connecting with nature and accessing the Valley. This project will help people to engage with the landscape creatively and therapeutically. It will aim to improve people’s physical health and mental well-being by helping them to reconnect with nature and heritage and to overcome social isolation. We’ll be partnering with link workers, the social prescribing network and other specialist organisations working with groups of people from those who just want a walk and a chat to veterans and young people not in education, employment or training.
  10. Promoting our Produce
    The importance of local food and varieties has increased in recent years, and awareness of the importance of buying local continues to grow. This project will support market gardening enterprises, community allotments
    and includes training programmes for new plot holders. It will also look at the feasibility of establishing new markets through promoting heritage varieties, using new branding to give added value. This project will provide fantastic opportunities for local people to get involved including horticultural training and new community allotment sites.

We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved. Contact the Community and Volunteering Officer, Sammy Fraser, on

To keep up-to-date with news, events, volunteering and training opportunities, sign up to the Tamar Valley AONB e-newsletter (contact Sammy), follow the Tamar Valley AONB social media channels and search for events on

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