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Tamar Valley AONB, Nr Tavistock, Devon, UK

HDC commissioned to undertake the development of a new interpretive plan for the town of Tavistock and the Tamar Valley as part of the Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site area.

We undertook interpretive audits and evaluations at 23 key attractions and mining heritage sites, a feasibility study in to the development of a new visitor centre in Tavistock, market reserch into the coat market and developed interpretive master plan for the area and a seperate plan for a new visitor centre and 4 new walking trails.

The Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project aims to celebrate and tell the story of the Tamar Valley’s rich mining heritage through a new network of trails and paths. The Project has undertaken conservation work to a large area that contains mining remains and important wildlife habitats.

The new Tamar Trails take a journey along old transport systems such as canals, tramways and railways, and explore the mining history as well as our stunning natural landscapes.

Tamar Valley AONB mining landscapeIt’s an area of steep wooded valleys, a slow flowing river and overgrown riverbanks. Everywhere, you can see evidence of deep, dark mines and hard-working communities, which would have driven an entire industry in the area.

The Tamar Valley Mining Heritage Project is located in the heart of the World Heritage Site within the Devon side of the AONB. This landscape has a distinctly industrial legacy from the C19th mining boom. It forms part of a series of sites within the Cornish and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.

It was copper mining that made the Tamar Valley internationally famous in the 19th and early 20th century. The whole of the Tamar Valley was transformed through mining and the work that followed, such as the construction of transport networks and quays. The mine chimneys now form part of the local scenery, as well as hidden quays, overgrown tracks, half-visible mine adits, and barren hillside spoil-tips – all waiting to be discovered.

The Project is a partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Objective 2, South West Regional Development Agency, Devon County Council, West Devon Borough Council, Devon Rural Renaissance, South West Water, Tavistock Woodlands Estate as well as the Tamar Valley AONB itself. Started in 2007, the project will finish within the next twelve months, and is a £7 million investment which will help sustain this rural area.