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The Fifth Continent – Meet the Team

Posted: Tuesday 12th September 2017 by KentWildlifeStaff

In January we received the incredible news that our Fifth Continent Landscape Conservation Action Plan was going to receive a £1.76m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We’ve been busy assembling the project team since then - It’s been a long time coming, but we have finally arrived!

What’s been happening with the Fifth Continent project?

We have been meeting with local associations, organisations, and partners across the Marsh, including Churches; Children’s Services; local Societies; Farmers and landowners; Visitor attractions etc to forge relationships and look at how we can complement or add to what is already happening across the area.

This will allow us to develop, in partnership, a raft of activities, including fun days out, learning about the natural landscape, working with historic buildings and sites, creating films etc for both local families and tourists.

Meet the team

After 7 years of putting the project together and securing funding from the Heritage Lottery, the Fifth Continent team has assembled at last. The team is now stationed at the Romney Marsh Visitors Centre and there are now 4 of us in place with 1 more to recruit.

Fifth Continent - Meet the Team

Left to right...

Viv Kenny – Admin Officer

"With a background working with business support, voluntary sector and local community organisations, I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the team by adding to local knowledge, and helping with all the day to day background work which needs to be done to support the projects. It’s fantastic to know that this work will help communities across the Marsh to engage with the place they live. This significant project, which not only brings long term benefits to the unique habitat of Romney Marsh, will also have a significant impact on residents and visitors alike."

Dawn Apcar – Community Officer

"It’s fantastic to be part of such an amazing scheme that will give communities the opportunity to get involved in reconnecting with Romney Marsh, not just as somewhere that they live but somewhere that has a lot of history and wildlife around them. I’m really looking forward to supporting people to get involved with the range of projects we will be delivering."

Lisa Barrett-Smith – Scheme Manager

"This is an amazing set of projects to be involved in over the next 3 years, and has many exciting things for people to get involved with, such as learning to interview people, making films and creating habitats for local wildlife. We hope to increase local knowledge, support the rich and diverse landscape and engage people with where they live."

Stan Smith – Biodiversity Officer

"I’m thrilled to be part of a project that can have huge benefits for nature on a BIG scale! I’m looking forward to finding out about all the things living in the ditches, on the shingle and in all the wild places, helping them to spread and flourish and teaching people all about it." 

What’s next for Fifth Continent?

Now the teams are in place we are able to start working on becoming a familiar presence across the marsh. We’re currently getting people together to run a number of projects from Oral Histories to Archaeological digs, Family Activities to Film-Making and much, much more.

We are already working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to locate and expand wildflower areas to help Romney Marsh’s important populations of rare and endangered bees.

We are also busy setting up our official launch, and putting all the support systems in place to ensure the projects, once they are underway, will be as exciting and engaging as possible.

How can I get involved?

We will be looking for volunteers for a number of projects so if you have an interest in archaeology, film-making, interviewing people, local history or wildlife please contact us to discuss possible opportunities.

Watch this space for further developments and more ways to get involved as the projects all kick off, or if you want more information please e-mail lisa.barrett-smith@kentwildlife.org.uk or phone and speak to us on 01622 357897.

Want to learn more?

The Fifth Continent Landscape Partnership Scheme is a collaboration of organisations, funded in the most part by Heritage Lottery that aims to work with landowners, agencies and communities to conserve restore and uncover information about the historic landscape of Romney Marsh for present and future generations. 

~ By Lisa Barett-Smith

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