Green Light for Green TV

Tees Valley Arts has been granted a major Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award for its innovative and exciting programme of environmental engagement through the arts. Worth £245,000 over three years, Green TV will see local schools, community groups, wildlife officers, environmental experts and artists all working together to learn about the natural heritage of the Tees Valley, and getting out and about to enjoy it.

The project will take place in all 5 Tees Valley boroughs: in Years 1 and 2 there will be a total of 30 school and community artist residencies, and in Year 3 there will be a conference celebrating all the work and learning that has taken place, and looking at ways to build upon it for the future.

Green TV will be a partnership between Tees Valley Arts (TVA) and RSPB Saltholme, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, Teesmouth Field Centre and Darlington Council (Parks & Countryside), with support from Tees Archaeology. The project will be delivered by professional community artists and conservation workers from the four partner organisations and will be managed by TVA’s Heritage & Environment Officer, Joe Dunne.

Joe said,

“I am delighted with the news and thrilled to be able to run this exciting and interesting programme of activities. Green TV will bring about renewed enjoyment, understanding and ownership of local heritage for people in the Tees Valley.

It is not widely known that the Tees Valley has a wealth of regionally and nationally important natural heritage (wildlife) sites that we should be extremely proud of. Because local industry is very prominent in the area, the natural heritage is sometimes overlooked or lost, but these important sites are there, supporting a diverse range of wildlife on land which nature is reclaiming from industry.”

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North East, Ivor Crowther said:

“This is such a delightful project to start spring with. Our North East natural heritage is something to be treasured, and Green TV is a great way to get everyone, especially young people involved. Landscapes and wildlife need constant support and investment and the HLF are proud to play a key role in fantastic projects like this.”

Jeremy Garside, Chief Executive of Tees Valley Wildlife Trust said

“The Wildlife Trust is extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work with Tees Valley Arts and its other environmental partners. The project will introduce us to new and exciting ways of engaging people and interpreting the area’s fascinating natural heritage.”

David Braithwaite, RSPB Saltholme Site Manager said

“The Green TV is a really exciting project for Saltholme. It brings with it the prospect of using the arts to help visitors and school children understand more about how fragile the natural environment is and just how dependant we are upon its well being. We hope to use the sights and sounds of the wildlife at Saltholme to inspire people; making them want to learn and do more for the environment.”

Work on the project will begin in April 2010 and we’re all really looking forward to it – great news for the whole Tees Valley!