The Land of the Fanns: Project hopes to restore and celebrate historic gems in Havering
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2018
Hornchurch, Upminster and Romford are part of a large area that has been earmarked for conservation and community projects.
The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is a five-year programme that aims to restore and celebrate 11 landscape character areas that cross in Havering and Barking and Dagenham.
Described as the “grandest prospect in England” by writer Philip Morant in the 1970s, the Land of the Fanns area is full of environmental and historical gems.
From places such as Rainham Marshes which is home to 10 per cent of the UK population of water vole, to the rich histories of royal residence within the Havering hlls - the project hopes to get residents involved with restoration projects.
The word Fanns comes from the Saxon word for fen which means a low marshy land or low lying district. This describes much of the Land of the Fanns landscape which is historically an area of fens, forests and farming.
The name of the project is also inspired by Leslie Thompson, who described the area in her 1957 novel as “The Land that Fanns”.
The projects are split into five categories; restoring and reconnecting the Land of the Fanns, understanding the area with community mapping and archaeology projects, attachment to the area with volunteer and community projects and enjoying the area with conferences and a potential Arts Festival.
“This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for local people to find out more about some of the hidden gems this unique landscape has to offer and get involved through events and learning new skills”, said Benjamin Sanderson, Land of the Fanns scheme manager.
“It also offers an unprecedented opportunity for different organisations to work together, which I hope will leave a lasting legacy long after the scheme comes to an end.”
In partnership with Discover Metropolitan Essex, a horse drawn carriage transported residents to various historical locations in September as part of the scheme.
The ride began at the Forestry Commission’s Broadfields Community Woodland and stopped by Havering Museum and the Museum of Nostalgia at the Tithe Barn in Cranham.
Over the summer, the Land of Fans team were joined by families and experts to count wildlife for a special BioBlitz at the Thames Chase.
The project’s Community Action Fund is currently open for groups in the borough to apply for a £5,000 grant to fund a project that takes place within and around the Land of the Fanns Landscape.
Round two of the applications is open until January 31 next year.
For more information and an application form for the Community Action Fund visit landofthefanns.org/community-grants.