My research focuses on the ways in which landscapes are valued as heritage by communities and across generations. Working in collaboration with the Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership, the project will explore the ways in which people understand and engage with their local landscapes and how this is mediated by their family relationships and collective memories. In the post-industrial setting of the Derwent Valley, North East England, the project will examine the impact of changing attitudes to class, workplace and community in relation to how people experience and value the landscape. My research questions are as follows:
- How do intergenerational relationships and memories shape understanding of the Derwent Valley as a heritage landscape?
- How are these understandings influenced by changing notions of class and community between generations?
- Can theories of post memory and/or nostalgia be applied to these narratives in order to understand the relationship between communities and landscape?
The project will enable a deeper understanding of the processes of memory and heritage construction at play within the context of landscape scale heritage projects. It will contribute to policy and practice within the Land of Oak & Iron Landscape Partnership and heritage projects more widely, illuminating the feelings and motivations of communities towards large scale projects and suggesting strategies for increasing impact and engagement.