Win £100 voucher with new and updated digital history trail

Complete a digital history trail in Rushden to win £100 voucher for Italian restaurant 

Before the signs were installed

Before the signs were installed

With BBC Radio Northampton’s Helen Blaby

With BBC Radio Northampton’s Helen Blaby

‘All Aboard for Rushden’ is a new app that originally launched last year, but from 28 August, will present new and updated information. If visitors find all five points along the trail during the Nene Valley Festival, they can enter a prize draw to win a £100 voucher for Pizza Venezia Italian restaurant in Rushden. The Nene Valley Festival celebrates the heritage, wildlife and culture of the Nene Valley and runs from 14 – 22 September.

We have worked with the University of Nottingham’s Computer Science department, Rushden Historical Transport Museum, Rushden Museum, the Greenway team, East Northamptonshire Council, Rushden Town Council, Destination Nene Valley, Screen Northants and Northampton University’s History department to create a new piece of technology that sets a challenge of finding a permanent trail of pieces of art along the Greenway.

By following the story of a mail bag accident on a local railway in 1911 and the imagined contents of the bag, visitors can work their way along the former rail line finding out more about Rushden’s history. Drawn by artist Michelle Barnett, the pieces of art depict cyclists on the Greenway with a traditional railway signal, bringing together the historic and current uses of the path.

This app is just one element of a wider piece of work to reinvigorate the Greenway in Rushden and encourage more people to walk or cycle between Rushden Lakes and the town centre and beyond into the landscape. Another programme of work in the Nenescape scheme, ‘Out to Water, Into History’, is led by East Northamptonshire Council and has breathed new life into the pathway, thanks to a fantastic mural in a tunnel, new benches, tree planting and litter clearance.

Thanks to National Lottery players through the Heritage Fund, the ‘All Aboard for Rushden’ app is now available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Visitors will be able to find the trail of art along the Greenway path between Crown Way and the High Street from 28 August, and the competition will be open for entries between 14 and 22 September.

Click here for prize draw terms and conditions and to find out more. See the very latest with our social media @nenescape. To find out more about the Nene Valley Festival, visit the new-look website at www.nenevalley.net.

'Farming for the Future' forging forwards

'The ‘Farming for the Future’ project has had a fantastic summer, with an exciting programme of activities over Meadows Weekend and a series of new wetlands being created with the UK’s only rotary ditcher.

Meadow Weekend at the Nene Wetlands near Rushden included scything workshops, nature walks and a photography safari. On 13 and 14 July experts Matt Johnson, Steve Tomlin and Ryan Clark took groups of visitors through wildflower meadow management and species identification.

Photo by Wildlife Trust BCN

Photo by Wildlife Trust BCN

Photo by Rob Enderby

Photo by Rob Enderby

Also underway at the beginning of August is the creation of a series of shallow ditches totalling more than 7km and 13 scrapes across 15 fields in the Nene Valley for breeding and overwintering waders. The 15 fields are distributed between Upton near Northampton and Stoke Doyle near Oundle. To create these shallow ditches, which will be filled with water and encourage a more diverse range of habitats and wildlife, a big piece of machinery known as a rotary ditcher will be used.

Preparing for the rotary ditcher

Preparing for the rotary ditcher

The rotary ditcher in action

The rotary ditcher in action

'Resilient River' flowing into next stages

Led by River Nene Regional Park, the Resilient River project aims to improve river habitats. A handful of sites have now been completed, including backchannel at Elton, Whitemills and Barnwell.

Improvements at Ailsworth are currently underway, with fencing to protect the riverbank complete and 100t gravel being added into the channel to provide fish spawning habitats and increase the speed of the flow.

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At Nassington Backchannel, we have plans to hinge and pin overhanging trees on to the river bank to provide refuge and habitat, as well as securing them during flooding. There will also be fencing here to protect the bank from livestock, which can trample the banks bare, releasing sediment in the river system. At Barnwell Country Park, interpretation panels were installed in Spring to provide an educational platform for visitors to understand the importance of the works. We also have two wood carved benches in production and these will be installed so visitors can view the restoration whilst sitting on them.

River Nene Regional Park’s River Restoration Officer has also been trained in river habitat surveying by the River Restoration Centre, which gives him a qualification to enable him to undertake surveys of river environments.

'Building Bridges' connects with new audiences

The Building Bridges project brings together anglers and promotes angling to a wide range of people, including local residents, supplementary schools and visitors to other events. The Angling Trust is leading the project and working in partnership with a range of other organisations.

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The coaching team have been teaching people to fish and introducing children to the sport as part of the Canal and River Trust’s Let’s Fish campaign. A team of officers are working with those who run fishing clubs and running competitions which link to larger events like the National Junior Championships.

The Building Bridges team will be running a ‘Let’s Fish’ event at Stanwick Fisheries on 22 September.

'All Aboard for Rushden' continues its journey to completion

Working with the University of Nottingham’s Computer Science department, a group of organisations in Rushden have been working together to create an app that allows visitors to the Greenway in Rushden to explore the stories of some of Rushden’s past residents.

Photo thanks to Northampton Telegraph

Photo thanks to Northampton Telegraph

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Visitors will be able to scan five pictures along the route with their smartphone or tablet. Inspired by a real life railway incident in 1911, the images unlock letters to and from some interesting characters, including local suffragettes and an egg delivery lady. Accompanying the letters are five short films made by Screen Northants and a group of local school children.

During the Nene Valley Festival, which runs from 14 - 22 September, anyone who scans all five images can enter a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to spend at Rushden’s Pizza Venezia italian restaurant.

Nenescape partners will be trained in how to bring artcodes technology into their interpretation and storytelling over the next few months.

'Enabling Access from Waterway to Land' creates new website

A close partnership between Destination Nene Valley, the Environment Agency and One to One Development Trust (who also delivered the ‘900 Voices of the Nene’ project) has produced a new website to promote the Nene Valley and its attractions and facilities.

The website forms the first product delivered by the Environment Agency in their ‘Enabling Access from Waterway to Land’ project, which aims to improve physical access onto the river, as well as increase the information available to boaters and other visitors to the area.

 
Click on the image above to explore the new website

Click on the image above to explore the new website

 

'Out to Water, Into History' making Greenway a brighter place

Over the last year, the team at East Northamptonshire Council have improved the Greenway in Rushden in several ways. Working with people from the local area and contractors, wooden benches have been installed at intervals along the cycle and walking route, and inappropriate vegetation has been cleared along with a huge amount of litter. The poor quality vegetation has been replaced by native species of trees and flowering plants and the landscape will be carefully managed to support biodiversity and make the Greenway a more beautiful place to be.

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The tunnel under Washbrook Road, through which the Greenway runs, has also had a facelift thanks to two local artists, who have created a mural form the designs of over 70 local schoolchildren. Taking inspiration frrm a range of Rushden landmarks, people and events, the mural brightens up the tunnel. At each end, historic images from Rushden will be added into the bridge’s parapets and a competition is underway to find the best pictures.

The work being done here is also supported by the ‘All Aboard for Rushden’ project which uses a new technology called artcodes to bring elements of Rushden’s history to life.