Rotherfield charity wins funding to benefit the whole community
Rotherfield Millennium Green Trust has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of almost £10,000 to examine the history of traditional grazing meadows in the Weald and why sites like the Millennium Green are of special significance and important to conserve.
Involving children from Rotherfield Primary School, along with volunteers from the local community, Meadows in the Weald is an oral history project that offers opportunities for students to work with experts and adult volunteers to gather real life stories which will contribute to the historical archive of the Green and East Sussex Records Office. It is also planned to develop a volunteering programme to work within the Green, together with a Junior Members Club to get younger people involved in the Green’s conservation.
Those participating will have the opportunity to visit the Beech Estate at Ashburnham (one of the largest surviving tracts of ancient meadow in the South East), learn about native fauna and flora and join in workshops in school and on the Green. Volunteers will also be able to help with research, learn oral history skills or to share their memories so that children can hear about their experiences directly. Information assembled will be published in a booklet and displayed in a community exhibition and open day later this year.
Peter Davidson Smith, Chairman of the Rotherfield Millennium Green Board of Trustees, said: The Green is a rare example of an ancient and traditional grazing landscape in the Sussex Weald and we are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us the opportunity to involve the whole community in learning and sharing about this amazing resource on our doorstep.
Helping the Green with the project is local charity, Life Wisdoms, who support schools with educational projects, but importantly, they are also appealing for people to come forward and volunteer on the project either by helping with research or sharing their memories. Do you or did you live in or near Rotherfield and have memories of visiting the Green, perhaps you played on it as a child, or family members were farmers who worked the land or grazed cattle on a similar landscape? Do you have photographs of the Green or documents that could contribute to the research archive? Do you have knowledge of farming methods in the Weald in general? Perhaps you are keen on conservation, habitats, geology, history or research or are interested in learning conservation skills or interviewing skills? Would you like to help preserve this unique landscape for generations to come?
It doesn’t matter whether you are from Rotherfield or the wider community, this is an interesting and stimulating project that provides opportunities for volunteers to get involved in various ways. If you?d like to find out more or have memories to share, please get in touch with Ruth Maddison on 01825 89109401825 891094 or Richard Mann on 01892 85247001892 852470.