A programme of heritage skills courses, held in partnership with other groups running complementary workshops, to pass on traditional skills during the Rusland Horizons Landscape Partnership.
The Rusland Valley landscape has been shaped over centuries and is a result of generations of farmers and foresters using traditional land management practices. More recently, these once traditional, and much used skills, have been slowly disappearing. It is important to bring heritage and traditions back into modern day living.
The Skills and Swills project provided heritage skills courses to help people become more aware and learn about sustainable land management. Passing on skills to people within the community and encouraging landowners to become involved in traditional, sustainable, practices.
In addition to our extensive programme of courses and demonstrations, the project was also able to help promote workshops offered by local tutors and craftspeople. They supported Skills and Swills by sharing their invaluable expertise on the following:
- Dry stone walling
- Hedge laying
- Skills for making products from the land, including; furniture, hazel hurdles, oak swill baskets
- Tree identification
- Orchard management
Courses and demonstrations replicated skills and products that historically were produced in the Rusland Valley. This created a deeper understanding of the links between heritage, landscape, environment and community. The future potential for the Rusland Valley is now looking positive. Now, as part of the ongoing work of the Rusland Horizons Trust (2020 onwards), we continue to offer a range of heritage skills opportunities including dry stone walling events, and tree and wildflower identification.