The Word Garden wins National Lottery support for 'Origins' Project

The Word Garden wins National Lottery support for 'Origins' Project

Image reproduced with the kind permission of the Middle Level Commissioners.

The Word Garden, has received a National Lottery grant of £49,200 for an exciting heritage project in East Cambridgeshire titled: 'The Scottish Soldiers, the Ouse Washes; the Origins of Landscape Change in the Fen' known simply as 'Origins'. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project commencing this autumn focuses on exploring a 'missing' history of events, 1650-53; researching the construction of the second parallel drain by Scottish prisoners-of-war, following their capture after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. These events not only transformed the landscape and surrounding environment they changed traditional Fenland occupations and lifestyles into the future.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project will enable three local schools to explore the history of this period, with workshops being delivered on film work and script writing. There will be a community open day in spring 2019, where local people can bring any information they have about this period. The project will culminate in a two-day celebratory event at Welney Wetlands Centre on 29th and 30th June 2019. There will also be a specially made short film based on the research findings.

The project, which is supported by Babylon ARTS, will enable approximately 110 young people from three local school, to learn more about this little-known historic event, whilst involving people locally in a unique heritage project.

Working closely with heritage professionals from Durham University, linking the Origins project with their 'Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project', participants will gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history. Increasing their awareness into the relationship between people, landscape and their natural environment.

Commenting on the grant, Jean Rees, The Word Garden Project Coordinator said: "We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will take us on an inspirational journey through hidden history."

Claire Somerville, Executive Director of Babylon ARTS commented: "It's a pleasure to be working with The Word Garden on this unique project. Our previous HLF funded work, has shown us what an appetite people have for learning more about their local area and this project will provide ample opportunity for this to take place".

To follow the progress of this project, please visit

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF, East of England said: "We're delighted to support The Word Garden in this intriguing project. Thanks to National Lottery players, young people and the local community can play a part in discovering more about this untold story and learning about the part people have played in shaping the Fenland landscape."

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