Welcome to the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme; Samuel Palmer’s Earthly Paradise.

Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme is an exciting large-scale partnership, working to conserve and enhance the distinctive heritage landscapes of the Darent Valley and to connect people to the Valley to help us conserve it for the future.

The scheme focuses around the work of influential landscape artist Samuel Palmer who, 200 years ago, described the Darent Valley as an ‘earthly paradise’. Today, he would still recognise the special qualities conveyed through his visionary paintings. It remains a landscape of surprising beauty, rich in diverse habitats and with an impressive cultural heritage. But this is a landscape on the edge. London has expanded to the brink of the valley, bringing multiple and dramatically increasing pressures that are dissolving its natural character. Many people who live within reach of the valley lack awareness of the amazing potential of this captivating landscape which is on their doorstep, further threatening the future of the valley.

The scheme brings together a unique mix of organisations that will work with and empower local communities to ensure the survival of this exceptional area. Through them, we will achieve genuinely sustainable conservation of its natural and cultural heritage with communities that feel emotionally and physically reconnected with their landscape.

Meet the team

Each member of our team has a specialist area of work to deliver as part of the overall Scheme. Yet we work closely with one another, delivery partners, contractors, partner organisations and local communities to ensure projects are delivered in an integrated way.


Tim Owen

Darent Valley Path & Landscape Conservation Grants Lead

Tim leads on much of the access work along the Darent Valley Path and is also responsible for delivering the Landscape Heritage Conservation Grants programme. Tim is part of the wider AONB team based in the East Brabourne office.

Rick Bayne

Landscape Partnership Manager

Rick’s role is to manage the DVLPS team, establish partnerships and work with partners to deliver the full potential of the Landscape Partnership Scheme. A key part of his role is to look beyond the five years that HLF have funded this programme to secure a legacy and future for the DVLPS.

Jennifer Smith

Interpretation and Community Learning Manager

Jen leads on the ‘Future Skills and Learning’ programme as well as supporting the integration of interpretation across all programmes.

Mary Tate

Countryside Manager

Mary leads on the ‘Darent Valley Exploration’ and ‘Natural and Historic Landscapes’ programmes as well as support the integration of linked works across all programmes.

Anne Sassin

Community Archaeologist

Anne leads on the ‘Historic Darent Valley’ programme as well as supporting the integration of historic and cultural heritage elements across all other programmes.

Madeleine Hodge

Art and Inspiration Manager

Madeleine leads on the ‘Inspiring Darent Valley’ programme and supports other projects with art and engagement across the scheme.

Antonia Omirou

Finance and Reporting Officer

Antonia works closely with each member of the DVLPS delivery team and scheme partners to make sure that the finance and project monitoring is carried out in a proper and verifiable manner. She also leads on the preparation of claiming and reporting to the scheme funders.

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