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Living Landscapes Lectures

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The Opportunity

During 2011/12 Torfaen County Borough Council delivered a series of 17 Living Landscape Lectures attracting over 515 visitors to the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.

The lectures were stimulating, challenging and interesting and were aimed to encourage an interest and confidence in the landscape and participatory activities (e.g. from hang-gliding / para-hawking to wilderness discovery / foraging – see the list of amazing lectures delivered in 2011/12 at the end of the form). 

The lectures and activities were aimed at people of all ages and abilities, giving them the opportunity to meet and share stimulating recreational and educational experiences and to encourage the use of natural green-space. Improved health and wellbeing has also been encouraged by participation in the activities. 

The events were aimed to encourage local people and visitors to use the wider landscape, natural green-space and environment as an additional recreational resource, ensuring, where possible, that all areas were accessible.

Local activity providers and local businesses were used where possible – such as Blaenafon Mountain Tours, The Forgotten Landscapes Partnership, Boulders and Chance Encounters.

We would like to be able to continue a similar programme of activities throughout 2013

The Location

Blaenavon World Heritage Site

In-Kind Support Required


Financial Support Required


Value of Support Required

For 2013 it is anticipated that the lectures would continue to happen on a monthly basis but it is suggested that they are promoted quarterly with a full colour double sided A5 flyer.

The proposal is that the lectures would be coordinated by staff at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre.  For the proposed lectures / activities we would look to target businesses and services located within the Valleys Regional Park.

The following costs are being suggested for lectures if they were to be promoted on a quarterly basis:

LECTURES: (3 per quarter) @ £75 each Total cost £900 (12 x £75)

DESIGN: A5 double sided full colour flyer @ £105 (3 hours) per flyer Total cost £420

PRINTING: A5 double sided full colour flyer printed quarterly (covering 3 months) 2,500 printed @ £295 each Total cost £1180 (4 x £295)

ESTIMATED TOTAL COSTS  for 2013:  £2500

Local Name and Contact Details

Amy Sullivan

Economy & Tourism Officer, Torfaen County Borough Council

Tel: 01633 648082

Any Other Comments

As an examples of the types of lectures that could be delivered, below is the programme of the Living Landscape Lectures which were delivered in 2011/12 

The Living Landscape Lectures were followed by an associated activity at a later date.  

January 2011 – The RSPB gave a lecture on winter bird watching, which was followed by an activity to make bird boxes and bird feeders and also a guided winter bird watching walk in the world heritage site.

February 2011 – The South East Wales Hang Gliding Club gave a lecture on the adventures of hang gliding and para-hawking, this was followed by an introduction to hang gliding activity.

March 2011 – The Newport Outdoor Group gave a lecture on walking and navigating.  This was followed by a guided walk where participants were able to practice navigation.

April 2011 – The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust gave a lecture about archaeology in Torfaen which was followed by a guided living landscape walk.

May 2011 – Blaenafon Mountain Tours gave a lecture on the mountain landscape and its hidden stories.  This was followed by ‘Off the beaten track’ – a free guided walk to explore the world heritage site landscape.

June 2011 – The South Wales Orienteering Club gave a lecture on the sport of orienteering.  This was followed by an orienteering session at Garn Lakes Country Fayre.

July 2011 – The British Geological Survey gave a lecture on experiences of caves and mines where visitors were able to learn about geology and geomorphology.  This was followed with a free guided walk meeting at Keeper’s Pond.

August 2011 – Wilderness Discovery gave a lecture on food foraging and bush-craft skills where visitors were able to learn about edible plants, bush-craft foraging and cookery skills.  This was followed with two free guided walks with practical demonstrations.

September 2011 – Cardiff Astronomical Society gave a talk on the many wonders of the night sky and visitors were able to join experienced astronomers for a free practical observing session.

October 2011 – Hereford Caving Club gave an exciting talk on how caves form, why we go caving and what we use.  This was followed by a trip into Ogof Clogwyn cave in Clydach Gorge.

November 2011 – The Forgotten Landscapes Partnership gave a talk on the new Afon Llwyd hydro scheme.  Visitors were able to learn about how water powered the past industries on Blaenavon.  This was followed by a free guided walk within the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape.

December 2011 – Chance Encounters will be giving a talk about Christmas traditions, legends and customs within Blaenavon.  This was followed with a Christmas Decoration Workshop where visitors made their own pomander or wreath.

Businesses in Wales gaining WECAN contracts

71 Businesses £278,277

Business support for green projects

12 Businesses £86,381

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