Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme
Samuel Palmer’s Earthly Paradise
Led by the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme (DVLPS) is an exciting large-scale partnership, working to conserve and enhance this distinctive landscape and reconnect people to it.
DVLPS focuses around the work of influential landscape artist Samuel Palmer who, 200 years ago, described the Darent Valley as an ‘earthly paradise’. Today, he would still recognise the special qualities conveyed through his visionary paintings. It remains a landscape of surprising beauty, rich in diverse habitats and with an impressive cultural heritage. But this is a landscape on the edge. London has expanded to the brink of the valley, bringing multiple and dramatically increasing pressures that are dissolving its natural character. People lack an awareness of this rich and attractive landscape on their doorstep, further threatening the future of the valley.
It brings together a unique mix of organisations that will work with and empower local communities to ensure the survival of this exceptional area. Through them, we will achieve genuinely sustainable conservation of its natural and cultural heritage with communities that feel emotionally and physically reconnected with their landscape.
The DVLPS was awarded a stage 1 pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund in October 2014, earmarking a grant of £2.1 million towards the £3.65 million scheme. An 18 month stage 2 development period will begin shortly to prepare the detail of the scheme and secure match funding. If this receives the approval of HLF it is anticipated that on the ground delivery will begin mid 2017.