Groundwork North East & Cumbria has appointed Karen Daglish to oversee the Land of Oak and Iron schemeGroundwork North East & Cumbria has appointed Karen Daglish to manage its £3.4m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded Land of Oak and Iron scheme.

In her new position as Land of Oak and Iron Project Manager, Karen will oversee the four year-long project, which focuses on the Derwent Valley and the surrounding area – from Derwent Reservoir to the River Tyne and includes Consett, Rowlands Gill and Prudhoe – which has a fascinating industrial heritage of pioneering ironworks, steel furnaces and sword making

The abundance of wood from vast woodlands; power created by the River Derwent; waggon and railways that criss-crossed the area created a landscape with significant and beautiful features that will now be preserved and celebrated.

This will enable visitors and local communities to learn about and celebrate the area’s heritage though, skills development volunteering and events. The launch on Sunday 10 July from 1 – 4pm at Blaydon Youth and Community Centre with folk singers, rapper dancers and pond dipping will provide a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the area’s culture.

Prior to this role, Karen worked for over ten years with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, where she worked in partnership with the voluntary, public and private sectors to support local charitable organisations.

Kate Culverhouse, Groundwork NE & Cumbria Chief Executive, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have Karen on-board as the manager for the Land of Oak and Iron project.

“She has a wealth of experience managing similar large community schemes and I’m sure her familiarity with the sector and organisations within the region will be of great use as the project progresses.”

Karen Daglish said: “I’m very excited to be joining Groundwork North East & Cumbria. The Land of Oak and Iron is a fantastic project, which quite rightly, highlights the important role that the area played in driving the industry of Britain.

“It’s vital that the North East’s past legacy is preserved for the next generation. However, we also need to look to the future and this project does just that by providing training and skills development opportunities, whilst also promoting the region as a fantastic place to live, work and visit .”

The Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership also includes Gateshead Council, Durham and Northumberland County Councils plus a number of community groups, charities and government agencies