Scheme Wide Projects

Lead Organisation:The Greensand Trust
Other Stakeholders:
GCLP Themes: Scheme Wide Projects
NHLF Outcomes: Heritage is identified/recorded,More people and a wider range of people have engaged with heritage,People have learnt about heritage,The local area/community will be a better place to live work or visit
Forward Plan Themes: Caring for the landscape,Enjoyment and wellbeing,Local action on climate change,Rural economy and sustainable tourism
Project Budget:£

Written by: The Greensand Trust Team

The Scheme Wide Projects for the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership helped raise the profile of Greensand Country, engaging partners, Charter Members, festival event organisers and the local community, and encouraging them to explore more of the local landscape on their doorstep.

Regular marketing activities, including blogs, newsletters and social media activity have helped to increase our audience’s understanding of Greensand Country; it’s history, wildlife, nature and its opportunities for the future.


Achievements

SWP2 Webinar Training Development and Interactive Screen

Two Greensand Country ‘Sense of Place’ training sessions have been held so far.

Discussions are taking place around making the final training session more of a social and networking event, still with a presence of a ‘help desk’, where individual members could be supported on completing their profile or how to upload events.

We are also reviewing the possibility of contributing to the FSB’s e-training resources.

An Interactive Screen was installed at The Greensand Trust Working Woodlands Centre on 10th July 2020.

The webinar training videos – how to register, login and add your own content – have been produced by Interdirect, approved by the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership team and are live on the Charter page on the Greensand Country website at https://www.greensandcountry.com/support/business-charter/.

Regular events continue to help encourage new Charter sign-ups, with event organisers and businesses being directed to the Charter area of the website in order to watch tutorials and find out more about how to sign up online. We are confident that these tutorials adequately support people to do this.

SWP3 Commissioning high-quality photographs and commercial illustration.

Professional photography was taken at festival events, including horse-riding, walking, cycling, teaching talons owl workshops, forest school, eco-lodges earth day and tai chi in the Swiss Gardens, creating a bank of high-quality photographs that are Royalty Free and can be used by the partnership, charter members and other approved organisations for promoting Greensand Country.

CuteMaps was commissioned to design and develop illustrative maps of Greensand Country, providing an engaging and interesting insight into the variety of attractions, historic parklands, heathland and walking, cycling and horse-riding routes in Greensand Country.

Greensand Country Website Gallery – Charter members have exclusive access to view and download high quality photographs and the CuteMaps illustrative map from their private profiles on the Greensand Country website.

Photographs on Sharepoint: A wide selection of photographs with full permissions are on Sharepoint, for all members of the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership to view and use, as required. https://greensandcountry.sharepoint.com/Photos/Forms/AllItems.aspx

Flickr – A Flickr account has been set up key photographs uploaded from the external hard-drive onto the open account, which can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/193358581@N04/albums

SWP4 Website and SWP5 Greensand GPS app.

The Greensand Country website continues to be updated with new map points, events, blogs and resources, enabling us to share information from and about partners and encourage people to upload and share their events, business profiles and more through the Greensand Country website.

We are continuing to support partner organisations and charter members wherever necessary with uploading their information to the website.

Updates and new map points have been added to provide information on the Historic Environment, Nature Conservation and Accessibility, which help people to understand more about the landscape and its unique history, wildlife and conservation.

Analytics and reports are regularly provided to the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership team, to feedback on results and develop new ideas and opportunities for the future.

Social Media

Social Media activity continues to see positive results, with reports being produced quarterly for the communications group to review and adjust activity accordingly.

A summary of the latest reports revealed that:

Facebook – Page reach, post engagement and page consumptions have all increased since the previous period. We had 15 new likes, and no unlikes, compared to 17 new likes and 8 unlikes during the previous period! Top posts were all related to the festival and a number of positive posts from engaged users, including Mulberry Homes, MVCRP, Company of Nature (a Charter Member), Flitwick Town Council, The Greensand Trust and Walking & Cycling in Biggleswade

 

Twitter – Daily exposure and reach saw a significant increase. Followers increased by 2.83% and now stand at a round figure of 800, with 22 new followers gained. @greensandsocial received 23, 75 retweets and 183 Tweet likes. Total engagement increased by 24.34%. Top Tweets were similar to above, plus some Charter Member mentions and the MVCRP train wrap.

 

Instagram – Followers increased by 2.61%, with 16 new followers. Number of media sent increased, but unfortunately engagement decreased since previous period.

Blog Posts – Regular blog posts are created and uploaded to the website, in order to expand upon and share further details from social media posts, as well as providing additional website content, and with SEO benefits in mind.

Bi-monthly newsletter – Bi-monthly newsletters are sent to Charter Members, Partners and Subscribers and we will continue to produce these and send them out to our database, as well as The Greensand Trust’s newsletter audience.

Benefits to people

The Scheme Wide Projects have benefited a wide variety of community members, particularly in the promotion of the annual Greensand Country Festival, and Charter Member businesses, such as local independent shops, cafes and B&Bs in the area.

Thanks to this project, the local community are better informed about events, activities and projects taking place in the area and they have an outlet to comment and feedback on it, for example through the ‘My Greensand Country’ online form on the website, where regular photography submissions and comments are made, about attractions, locations or specific elements of the environment, which are shared by users.

The wider community are also able to feed back to the team via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, where we regularly engage in conversation with users about the unique and much-loved landscape that makes up Greensand Country.

Benefits to heritage & landscape

The Scheme Wide Projects enabled us to promote the fantastic work taking place across Greensand Country as part of the Landscape Partnership. Through the website, social media, blogs, press releases, radio interviews, even a television appearance, we’ve been able to spread the word about this important and much-loved landscape, demonstrating its geological significance and the unique aspects of its heritage (sandstone structures, historic Parklands, heathland, Georgian market towns, Edwardian architecture etc.)

Increased promotion of the landscape, via the GCLP Scheme Wide Project has helped to raise awareness of the areas importance and has encouraged more respect for it, as a result.

Challenges & Lessons learnt

Resource has been the biggest challenge throughout this project, as the number and scope of projects that we’ve undertaken far exceeds the original expectations for this project and has enabled us to create a legacy for the Greensand Country brand, the festival, website, village signage and many other communications and marketing elements.

If we were to commence the project again, we would work strategically from the start, establishing the brand, and creating a marketing plan to ensure that we created a more structured approach to all activity. However, that said, the flexibility of this project and the influences from professionals and partners along the way, has enabled us to create a hugely successful project, with many positive outputs.

Quotes

“We are pleased to be in a position to start promoting the festival again. It is a great opportunity for local residents to learn more about our landscape which is rich in wildlife and cultural heritage. The woods, parklands and miles of footpaths and bridleways make Greensand Country perfect for days out on foot, bike and horseback. There is plenty to explore and lockdown has shown how important it is to get outdoors and reconnect with nature for your personal wellbeing.

“The local festival will take place across the entire landscape during May. Watch out for a comprehensive festival guide being delivered to your door. This guide not only covers the festival but the entire Greensand Country experience, giving you lots of ideas of where and what to explore for the whole of 2021.”

-Nigel Carnell, Greensand Country Board Member

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Greensand Country Festival as this year’s Key Festival Sponsor. At Mulberry Homes we’re committed to supporting and forging lasting partnerships with the Bedfordshire communities amongst which we operate, including those within the Greensand Country area.

We’re very proud to be a part of this wonderful festival. The Greensand Country is a stunning landscape, and we’re looking forward to seeing local communities safely come together to enjoy this natural beauty.”

-Kerry Jones, Sales Director at Mulberry Homes

“We are proud to have been involved in is this train wrap; which depicts the view from Ampthill Great Park across Greensand Country. We’re very pleased that for the next 12 months everyone travelling on these trains will be able to experience just a snapshot of the wonderful landscape.”

David Hopkins, Greensand Country Landscape Partnership Board Member

“It is fantastic to see the Greensand Country signage going up in villages across the landscape. There is lots of great work being done by partners and supporters within Greensand Country, helping people to have a better understanding and an increased appreciation of the superb area in which they live, work and visit.

Central Bedfordshire Council has been instrumental in making this project happen, bringing together local authorities from Milton Keynes and Cambridgeshire to successfully secure signage across the entire Greensand Country area.”

-Councillor Caroline Maudlin


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