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The Land of the Fanns: Project hopes to restore and celebrate historic gems in Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2018

Engaging new audiences with wildlife, the Land of the Fanns bioblitz event held jointly with the Thames Chase Trust and the Forestry Commission. Picture: Land of the Fanns.

Engaging new audiences with wildlife, the Land of the Fanns bioblitz event held jointly with the Thames Chase Trust and the Forestry Commission. Picture: Land of the Fanns.

Archant

Dagenham is part of a large area that has been earmarked for conservation and community projects.

A map of the focus area for the Land of Fanns project.A map of the focus area for the Land of Fanns project.

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is a five-year programme that aims to restore and celebrate 11 landscape character areas that cross Havering and Dagenham.

Described as the “grandest prospect in England” by writer Philip Morant in the 1970s, the Land of the Fanns area is full of environmental and historical gems.

The word Fanns comes from the Saxon word for fen which means a low marshy land or low lying district. This describes much of the Land of the Fanns landscape which is historically an area of fens, forests and farming.

The name of the project is also inspired by Leslie Thompson, who described the area in her 1957 novel as “The Land that Fanns”.

The scheme will be delivered in January 2019. Picture: Steve Green.The scheme will be delivered in January 2019. Picture: Steve Green.

The projects are split into five categories; restoring and reconnecting the Land of the Fanns, understanding the area with community mapping and archaeology projects, attachment to the area with volunteer and community projects, and enjoying the area with conferences and a potential Arts Festival.

“This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for local people to find out more about some of the hidden gems this unique landscape has to offer and get involved through events and learning new skills,” said Benjamin Sanderson, Land of the Fanns scheme manager.

“It also offers an unprecedented opportunity for different organisations to work together, which I hope will leave a lasting legacy long after the scheme comes to an end.”

Over the summer, the Land of Fans team were joined by families and experts to count wildlife for a special BioBlitz at the Thames Chase.

A project to restore the River Rom launched at the Eastbrookend Country Park Milennium Visitor Centre in The Chase on October 6.

The project’s Community Action Fund is currently open for groups in the borough to apply for a £5,000 grant to fund a project that takes place within and around the Land of the Fanns Landscape.

Round two of the applications is open until January 31 next year.

For more information and to apply visit landofthefanns.org/community-grants

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