5th continent consultationConsultation work on an exciting new project for Romney Marsh was kick-started at a Family Seaside Fun event at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre last weekend. Kent Wildlife Trust and a wide range of partners are keen to gather the public’s thoughts this summer and autumn on the ‘Fifth Continent Landscape Partnership Scheme’ – a Heritage Lottery Funded project which will be submitted in October 2016.

Ewa Prokop, Fifth Continent Project Officer, said: “We hope to develop lots of projects that involve the community as part of the Fifth Continent Scheme. We are gathering together people’s opinions and ideas by running some ‘drop-in’ sessions in St. Mary’s Bay, New Romney, Lydd, Dungeness and Hythe and by talking directly to local community groups, farmers and schools. We will also seek opinions at special events further afield, such as the Festival of Wildlife at Sevenoaks.

“Everyone can see a display about the Scheme at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre and fill in a comments book. At the Kent Wildlife Trust website, there is also an opportunity to fill out an online questionnaire. We are also asking people to choose ‘Five Words for the Fifth Continent’, which can be individual nouns, verbs, adverbs or adjectives that people feel epitomize the Romney Marsh area or express how they feel about the landscape. These can be submitted on our Fifth Continent Facebook page or by emailing me at ewa.prokop@kentwildlife.org.uk. It should make interesting reading and contribute to a montage in the Landscape Conservation Action Plan to be submitted as part of our bid.”

There are 15 separate strands to the Fifth Continent Scheme, which include such things as surveys and restoration of special habitats; historical research of built and archaeological heritage; promotion of local medieval churches; initiation of a ‘New Lookers’ community policing project; capturing of oral histories of local communities; encouragement of sustainable tourism; running of heritage and arts activities; and instigating traineeship and apprenticeship programmes.More information about the Scheme can be found at www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

* ‘The world, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Romney Marsh…’ – Reverend Richard Barham, The Ingoldsby Legends 1837