DVLPS is working in partnership to deliver over 40 exciting cultural, art, heritage, conservation and access projects to help conserve the Valley’s landscapes and heritage. Many of the projects will also provide opportunities for local people to learn about and explore the area.
An interwoven thread throughout all the projects is visionary landscape artist, Samuel Palmer. He produced some of his best works whilst living in the Darent Valley nearly 200 years ago, describing it as an ‘earthly paradise’. It is this physical and emotional connection with the surrounding landscape that we are re-establishing and celebrating among today’s local communities.
The vision represents our aspiration for the landscape in 2022 when the work in the LCAP has been completed. It is aspirational but achievable and a vision that the whole Partnership works towards. It is supported by five aims that have been identified by the Partnership.
“Using the inspiration of Samuel Palmer, our unique partnership of organisations has worked with and empowered local communities to ensure the survival and flourishing of an exceptional landscape and its heritage.
Through them, the Darent Valley’s natural and cultural heritage is being sustainably conserved, current threats are mitigated, and the landscape is more resilient to future threats. The communities that live within and around the valley feel emotionally and physically reconnected with their landscape, and there is a sense of pride and strong will to protect it for future generations.”
- A deeper understanding of the value of the Darent Valley landscape has been rejuvenated in the communities in and around the Darent Valley as was conveyed by poets, writers and painters of the past. We have instilled in them an appreciation for the forces and influences that created the landscape, and their emotional connection is enhanced along with a greater personal investment in securing its future.
- Our community-led approach has revealed a complex interwoven story and ensured that it is not lost to future generations. Our partners have ensured the long-term protection and resilience of the valley’s iconic built heritage features and communicated how they relate to the wider landscape. Innovative techniques have engaged in new and wider audiences.
- Sustainable and integrated access exists throughout the valley and is enabling greater appreciation and interaction with the landscape and heritage by a wider audience. The pressure of high visitor numbers has been dissipated and is being managed in a sustainable manner.
- The key natural components of this landscape are in good condition and in positive long-term management with a clear strategy for the future. They are more resilient to the effects of climate change and better connected across the landscape. Local people understand and appreciate these important habitats, and are actively involved in identifying and recording habitats and species at risk.
- Local communities, professionals, and delivery partners are actively participating in the conservation of the Darent Valley’s heritage, and their new skills and knowledge are enabling them to care for the landscape and communicate its importance in the future.
The five aims identified are reflected in five themes under which individual projects fall. These themes reflect the aims of the scheme and provide greater detail for what the scheme will achieve during its five years of delivery. They are simple and descriptive in their definition.
- Inspiring Darent Valley
- Historic Darent Valley
- Darent Valley Exploration
- Darent Valley Natural and Historic Landscapes
- Darent Valley Learning and Future Skill