Early this year the Friends of the Ullswater Way launched an Online Heritage Education Survey designed with the help of the Connected Communities Research Lab of Lancaster University Management School. It was distributed by the five Parishes of the Ullswater valley.
Its purpose was to gauge the opinion of the local communities on an idea to develop cultural heritage activities within the Ullswater valley, based upon its extraordinary richness and diversity.
FOUW has just issued a short document that sets out the results of this survey. Although the number of respondents was smaller than initially hoped, a range of conclusions can be drawn:
- A significant percentage (60 %) of respondents believe inadequate resources are allocated for Heritage Education (HE) in the valley.
- Virtually all respondents (96%) believe that HE should be directed to serving the needs of both the local communities and visitors.
- A majority (55%) consider HE to be of high importance to the long- term development of the valley.
- Half of the respondents would be willing to help in identifying sources of information, and carrying out research on local heritage.
- One third would be prepared to help set up and run heritage centres.
- A large and diverse range of issues were proposed for potential inclusion in a Ullswater valley Heritage Knowledge Database
- 22 individuals expressed their willingness and interest to be consulted in moving the project concept forwards
At its next Committee meeting on Thursday 23rd April (meeting virtually) FOUW will decide on next steps. The likely first one to take will be to contact individuals who have expressed a personal interest with a view to constitute a Core group which will develop a project concept in consultation with all interested parties.
Tim Clarke, the Chair of the Friends of the Ullswater Way, said: “We believe there are enormous opportunities for developing cultural heritage activities run by the local communities. These could reinforce the importance of interconnections between the communities living around the lake, and increase the understanding and appreciation of this stunning valley and the communities that live within it.”