Two Moors Trail
Written by: David Sedgley
This project, run entirely by volunteers working in Greensand Country (Friends of Flitton Moor/Flitwick and District Heritage Group) aimed to produce an interpretation board to describe the willows of Flitton Moor. This describes how the willows are important for both the wildlife and the landscape itself and how willow has been used historically.
The project has meant that the willows within Flitton Moor are better interpreted, therefore visitors can more easily understand the importance of them within the moorland habitat and the diverse uses of willow historically (wattle and daub walling, cricket bats, quinine to treat fevers and headaches).
Benefits to People
The project means that it is easier for visitors to the Moor to better understand the significance of the plant life there. This will hopefully give visitors more of an appreciation of what makes up the moorland landscape. For regular visitors or those more familiar with willow, the board gives detailed information on the different species and where they are located across the site. Equally, for those with less prior knowledge, the board gives a broad overview of willow and its uses. It also highlights the children’s tunnel through the Osier bed to allow children to engage more directly with the willow.
Benefits to Heritage & Landscape
The historical uses of willow are now clearly interpreted for visitors to the Jack Crawley Memorial Barn. This complements the existing information on local heritage already on display. More widely the board encourages greater understanding of the natural heritage within Greensand Country.
The project’s main benefit to the landscape is that the willow within Flitton Moor is better understood by those visiting. More widely, the information board contributes to the Two Moors Heritage Trail, thereby highlighting a particular aspect (in this case the willow), within the context of the walking route.
Challenges & Lessons Learnt
Due to the restrictions of the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, the project had to be reduced in scale as only new outputs could be supported with NLHF grant money. Originally, the project would have included redesigning a leaflet and the 5 interpretation boards along the Two Moors Heritage Trail. Alternate funding was sourced through Central Bedfordshire Council and Flitton and Greenfield Parish Council.
These restrictions meant that only the willow information board could be included in the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership project, thus limiting the use of Greensand Country style information boards.
There were also delays to the production of the cabinet, but the project manager David Sedgley insured that regular contact was maintained with the manufacturers to prevent further delays.
Lessons were learned about the limitations on what NLHF grant money could be used on, for example only funding the creation of new resources/interpretation.