The Land of Oak & Iron is future proofing the Derwent Valley as it embarks on a series of autumn events to plan ahead.

The future of the Land of Oak & Iron will be discussed by the people it means most to at an event on Saturday 20 October between 9.30am and 1 pm, finishing with lunch at The Winlaton Centre on North Street, Winlaton.

The partnership event will bring together ‘anyone and everyone’ with an interest in the Land of Oak & Iron to celebrate achievements to date and launch the legacy development to a wider audience. Open to everyone who has been involved with the project including partner organisations, community groups and volunteers, the workshops which will be included at this event will look at the legacy of the Landscape Partnership post its current Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

“We really want to gather the views and opinions of everyone who has been involved with the project so far,” said Karen Daglish, Land of Oak & Iron Partnership Manager. “The legacy of the Land of Oak & Iron is as important as the work that we and many other partners have undertaken, and the legacy development work is about ensuring that this progress can continue.”

The Legacy development work is being carried out by Social Enterprise Acumen who are working to identify viable legacy options and a proposed delivery model for these once Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support ends in December 2019.

In September, the Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre opened in Winlaton Mill, one of the gateways to the Derwent Valley. Celebrating ‘500 years of authentic heritage, history, heroes and habitats’ it will be a community hub as well as a tourist attraction in the Derwent Valley. The centre provides a new interpretation of the fascinating local industrial heritage, heritage skills training for volunteers and has business units to support creative businesses in the area. In addition, the site is also home to a small café and gift shop, café shrub, which specialises in offering local produce.

The Land of Oak & Iron aims to work with local communities and partners to celebrate, conserve and enhance its natural, industrial and cultural heritage. The Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership is a four-year programme of events and activities, supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and hosted by environmental regeneration charity Groundwork NE & Cumbria.

Comprised of 14 inter-connected projects with partners including Durham Wildlife Trust, Tyne Rivers Trust and the local authorities of Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland, the Land of Oak & Iron offers superb parking, cafés, facilities, access and events too.

This event is free to attend, but places must be booked before October 14.