Environment

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

The vision of Coldharbour Mill is to bring to life the Industrial Revolution. By conserving the past our mission is to educate and inspire future generations. Coldharbour Mill is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK still in production, having been in continuous production since 1797. A museum since 1982, this small charity exists to preserve a site of great historic and architectural value and to actively engage people with the story and industrial heritage of the textile industry. Managed and run predominantly by over 70 volunteers this group of dedicated individuals contribute over 14,000 hours a year to mill operations.
Coldharbour mill pond restoration Community Wildlife and Biodiversity Project (Splash Project) is regenerating land for its community to enjoy by clearing the mill pond and leat to provide a biodiverse area that is rich in wildlife and plant life and provides free access for all. The community based project will make a sustainable difference to the environment by restoring the mill-ponds capability to drive the Mill’s waterwheel and create linkage for the historical and heritage landscape of the Mill. The free access provides the community with an area that includes a path which meanders through our memorial garden, beside the 1.3 acre mill pond and along the 1,000m mill leat, new woods and outdoor amphitheatre. The next stage in the project will extend the path further along the mill leat.

Clearing the mill pond and leat will increase the flow of water and allow the waterwheel (the original power source for the Mill) to be used more often and feed the proposed hydro Archimedes screw project to make the charity more resilient. Increased use of the waterwheel will reduce our carbon footprint and by clearing the mill pond and leat and through better land management the wildlife biodiversity of the area will be improved. The Splash Project relies upon volunteer involvement. Local community volunteers have already given more than 2000 hours of volunteer time. As an organisation we plan to grow the number of hours in line with the growth of the mill, delivering 33,000 hours of volunteering opportunities by 2020. We support our volunteers to ensure they receive a truly valuable experience by being involved in meaningful activities, learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. The public, schools and local community groups will gain enjoyment from using the mill and leat area more often.

For example, we would send volunteers on suitable training courses, rather than employ expensive contractors to clear trees or to build dry-stone walls. This not only saves the charity money but provides the volunteers with valuable skills for life. We are also members of NCVO and will be working towards Investors In Volunteers standard.
The local community and visitors will benefit from the project. Their health and wellbeing will be increased from using the area. The project includes a sensory garden which will benefit those with sensory disabilities. The area also has a memorial wood for people to remember loved ones. The local community includes people with a wide range of disabilities and ages, all of whom could benefit from the area.
We are asking for funding for a Volunteer Co-ordinator to support our vital volunteers and for the tools and equipment that the volunteers will use to bring the mill pond and leat back to life.

Coldharbour Mill

I am proud of Coldharbour Mill because it is committed to the restoration of the mill pond area, creating a unique historical resource that is free for locals, visitors, community groups, schools whilst at the same time engendering community involvement in its development and sustainability.

Location: Uffculme