Hands on Heritage

A programme of outreach, engagement, celebration and sharing activities to enable people to learn about the wildlife, habitats and heritage of the area and get involved in their conservation.

Hands on Heritage is about creating opportunities for local people and visitors to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the area and the crucial connection between people and the landscape, both in the past and in the present.

A programme of outreach, engagement, celebration and sharing activities enables people to learn about the wildlife, habitats and heritage of the area and get involved in their conservation.

The story of the Rusland Horizons area and the scheme itself will be told through film, booklets, activities and an exhibition and website. In this way, we hope to draw in, increase the dwell time of, and deepen engagement for, visitors and residents who might otherwise not know about the area and its heritage.

Aims and benefits:

  • More people in our target audience groups experience deeper engagement with the heritage of the area.
  • Informed landowners.
  • Increased dwell time for visitors
  • People have an increased understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of the area
  • Volunteers trained in presentation skills, film-making, species identification and surveying techniques.
  • Improved awareness of the distribution of priority species in area – increased number of sightings recorded.
  • Improved conservation of wildlife, habitats and landscape features.
  • Information shared through the website, booklet, exhibition and temporary on site panels.
© Colin Barr

So far so good...

Update March 2017: ...

  • 121 visitors came to our Earthburn held at Stott Park Bobbin Mill, in partnership with the Coppice Association North West and English Heritage.
  • 188 volunteers took part on our Rusland Fell Care Day, held in partnership with Friends of the Lake District.
  • 2 primary schools involved.
  • We had a stand at 10 shows and fairs in 2016.
  • 1 partnership conference held for 40 delegates.
  • 24 local people came to our first community forum.

Did you know?

A Bioblitz is a biological survey that aims to record all of the different species in a given area within a time limit of 24 hours. We’re holding a Bioblitz in 2017.


Project Lead

Rusland Horizons staff team

The Challenge

Many visitors to the area currently travel through the area to the main visitor attractions without pausing to appreciate why the landscape looks the way it does. Surveys conducted during the development phase revealed that most visitors spend less than half a day in the area.

People do not generally appear to value what makes the area special from a specialist archaeological, historical or ecological perspective. However, this is probably because they are largely unaware of those features, no doubt due in large part to the current lack of heritage interpretation in the area. This is a deficit that the scheme aims to correct.

Our Approach

Hands on Heritage is at the heart of Rusland Horizons; it supports all of the other projects in the scheme. We are attending local shows and giving talks to spread the word about the scheme and recruit volunteers. We are involving the local schools, youth clubs and community groups in exploring and conserving what makes this landscape special. Through this website, forum events and conferences and by holding an end of scheme exhibition, we are celebrate and share our achievements.

One of the distinguishing, and highly valued, features of the area is that it is quiet and unspoilt. In line with this, we are focusing primarily on increasing the ‘dwell time’ of people who visit the area and to deepen their engagement with the area’s heritage. We are not seeking to achieve a significant increase in the total number of people who visit the area.

© Rusland Horizons 2017. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons is a Landscape Partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund