The changing landscape of the Nene Valley

A Nene Valley village with the river flowing by. PHOTO: ALISON CROSS/NENESCAPE

THIS month marks the start of Nenescape, a five-year Landscape Partnership project supported by a £2.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Nene Valley, its communities and visitors will benefit from 16 projects delivered by 11 partners over the next five years.

Activities will provide opportunities for local people to develop skills, improve access to the water, restore wetland and wildlife habitats, uncover and celebrate the area’s history and develop tourism.

Nenescape’s launch will be celebrated on Tuesday November 14 with a performance by Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT), of a specially commissioned piece of music called ‘Nene’, written by celebrated composer Benjamin Till, a former student of NMPAT.

The piece explores the landmarks, history and flow of the river from source to sea and will be performed by a 500-strong choir and 200-strong orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth proms and Peterborough and Northampton in March 2018.

Peter Smalley, CEO of NMPAT says “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and will live in the memories of all 650 participants for the rest of their lives, each one of whom will walk away a little taller, prouder and more confident to face the world as a result.”

Amanda Johnson, project delivery manager, said: “Bringing together so many people and their connections to the valley through this project is a fabulous opportunity and we are thrilled to be receiving this support from Heritage Lottery and our partners. There’s so much to be celebrated along the River Nene.”

A programme of volunteering opportunities and a community grants scheme will support projects in the Nene Valley from Weedon Bec to Peterborough. Nenescape welcomes involvement from anyone with interest in the wildlife, heritage and landscape. Please visit the website to see a list of all projects and a list of partners or contact Alison Cross at for more information.