Walls and Gardens
Start date: Jul 31, 2009,
End date: Jun 29, 2014
Owing to its geography, the 2 Seas area has been strategic throughout many of the conflicts between the major European states, up until the last World War. Today, these architectural features and former military zones provide ideal settings for recreation and tourism as well as ecological interest.The managers of 22 remarkable heritage sites have joined forces in the Walls and Gardens project, in order to develop cooperative cross-border activities for the protection and promotion of their highly valuable natural sites, focusing on improved management and heritage interpretation.Compiling and analysing existing practices, a methodology responding to the common difficulties of ecological site management and landscaping, and a common approach to public engagement will be defined and implemented in each partner area. The "Walls and Gardens" project will allow for an active role in conservation of these special architectural heritage sites, whilst improving their accessibility and encouraging everyday use. Expected Results: What are the key results of the project?The following results are planned:- the creation of a European network of technicians, experts and local representatives to exchange the experiences and good practices of everyone in the matters of ecological management, knowledge of fortified towns, heritage and its mediation, etc.- Training will be given to every partner and local tourist officers in order to give them the same background on the subjects dealt with in the project.- A brochure on biodiversity in vulnerable natural spaces in and around fortified towns will be published with best practices to promote the project and the actions made.- education and the mobilization of communities or volunteers having an impact on education and learning.Investments and restorations- Investments preserving the ecological, heritage and environmental value of the areas concerned, ensuring the site accessibility and public visits through mediation tools and measures- Ieper will contribute to both interpretation and ecological management of its sites through the creation of paths on the walls, improvement of the understanding of the fortified landscape by the creation of an interpretation centre beneath the walls. - Gravelines will restore and make accessible the fortifications by implementing an ecological policy, green paths, mediation, etc.- In Kempens Landschap, a tunnel to help bats wintering will be built next to the fort.- Essex County Council will implement an innovative touristic tool to make the understanding of the fortifications and gardens better.Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results?Even if all partners don't have investments to reclassify their towns, they will all benefit from the exchanges, meetings, events, trainings and will all contribute to the creation of the European network. Target beneficiaries include the staff and heritage organisations/local authorities/tourism bodies working with the sites concerned, they will benefit from valorisation and increased preservation of historic and culturally important heritage locations in their areas. Staff members at these sites who are looking at developing improved methods to communicate and maintain their respective heritage will benefit from the shared learning and experience amongst the partnership. By the exchanges of good practices and by the events and meetings, all partners and all territories will benefit from the results expected.The final beneficiaries include the general public, citizens, tourists and education establishments which will benefit from new pedestrian routes, extensions to cycle paths, ecological diversity and the creation of interpretation paths/gardens. The project will have a direct impact on the living environment of residents and their sense of pride. Events will be organise to sensitise the populations and make them part of the project.What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?The project Walls and Gardens contributes to sustainable development by sensibilizing people to ecology and green management. By reclassifying towns, it improves the quality of life, social inclusion and well being. People will benefit of the restorations, of new public services such as pedestrians routes or cycle paths, mixing ecology, heritage and cultural assets. Therefore, tourism and recreation are also affected by the project as it should generate touristic flows and thus employment.
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