The National Lottery Heritage Fund (formally known as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), provides the largest financial contribution to DVLPS of £2.1 million. This was following a successful bid submission through its two-stage Landscape Partnership Scheme fund in October 2017.
“We believe that understanding, valuing and sharing our heritage brings people together, inspires pride in communities and boosts investment in local economies.” (Heritage Fund, 2019)
SCAPE – water resource management in the Lower Darent Valley
SCAPE – Shaping Climate change Adaptive PlacEs – is one of three Interreg 2 Seas projects that DVLPS has been successful in securing European funding for. Led by Stad Oostende in Belgium, it delivers against the 2 Seas programme priority of ‘Adaptation to climate change’ and towards the specific objective to ‘Improve the ecosystem-based capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to climate change and its associated water-related effects’.
The overall objective is:
“SCAPE will develop Landscape Led Design solutions for water management that make coastal landscapes in the 2 Seas area better adapted and more resilient to climate change. SCAPE works with key stakeholders to increase the cost effectiveness of water management applications and will deliver pilots to test innovative tools/solutions that among other effects reduce floods. The project will bring together water managers, planners and architects from across the partnership to jointly develop an approach that uses the landscape to tackle water management problems in rural/urban/fringe coastal areas.”
The Darent Valley forms one of the pilots where this approach will be tested and will contribute to many of the elements being delivered through Programme 4 (Darent Valley Natural and Historic Landscapes) focusing on the central and lower reaches of the valley between Sevenoaks and the River Thames north of Dartford.
TRIPLE-C – water resource management in the Upper Darent Valley
TRIPLE-C – Climate resilient Community-based Catchment planning and management – delivers against the 2 Seas programme priority of ‘Adaptation to climate change’ and towards the specific objective to ‘Improve the ecosystem-based capacity of 2 Seas stakeholders to climate change and its associated water-related effects’ (the same programme priority and specific objective as SCAPE). It is led by Somerset County Council and has the overall objective to:
“…implement a set of cost-effective, innovative actions to reduce flooding. A new participative approach to problem solving and implementation with landowners will be developed. Upstream implementation of the water retention and erosion control measures will reduce flooding and associated issues further downstream.”
The DVLPS will deliver measures to achieve this objective in a way that respects and enhances landscape character in the upper catchment of the valley between Westerham and Sevenoaks and will contribute principally to water-related projects under Theme 4 project ‘Natural and Historic Landscapes’.
ICARES – remote sensing
ICAReS – Innovation Cluster Accelerating Remote Sensing – is a project led by Gemeente Woensdrecht (Municipality of Woensdrecht) in the Netherlands. It delivers against the ‘Technological and social innovation’ programme priority and against the specific objective to ‘Improve the framework conditions for the delivery of innovation, in relation to smart specialisation’. It will run for 39 months with the overall objective to:
“…develop a cross border cluster and create the necessary conditions for innovation in the field of remote sensing and advanced data communication and processing, based on needs of priority sectors nature, agriculture and water and infrastructure. This will lead to following benefits: cross border cooperation in these sectors to come to aggregation of demands, acceleration of creation of innovative remote sensing products & services, substantial use of remote sensing and improved business operation in these sectors.”
The DVLP’s contribution to ICAReS focuses on the use of LiDAR and drone technology to reveal and communicate information about heritage and its management. Consequently, the emphasis will be on the ‘Peeling Back the Layers’ project (2A), other projects within Programme 2 (The Historic Darent Valley), Programme 4 (Natural and Historic Landscapes) and project 5G (Engaging New Audiences).
DVLP has secured financial contributions from a range of other sources including:
- Highways England Environment Designated Fund
- Local Authority Contributions – Kent County Council, Dartford Borough Council and Sevenoaks District Council
- Parish Council contributions
- Kent Wildlife Trust
- North Downs Way National Trail
- Innocent Drinks
- Southeastern Trains
- Landowner contributions
- In kind contributions from UK Power Networks and the University of Winchester among others provide a valuable part of the scheme, as does volunteer time of local people to help deliver DVLP projects.