Projects Blog
Saltscape Landscape Partnership Job Opportunities

Saltscape Landscape Partnership

Following the recent approval of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Saltscape, Groundwork Cheshire are seeking to recruit a Project Manager and Project Officer on behalf of the Saltscape Partnership who will work closely together to deliver the approved Landscape Conservation Action Plan over the next three years.

The Saltscape Landscape Partnership Scheme is a programme of measures which aim to protect, restore, enhance, manage, consolidate, celebrate and increase the understanding of the local landscape and related heritage of the area in the salt landscape in conjunction with the local community.


Project Manager

Salary £25,000 to £28,000 (with terminal bonus)

3 year fixed term

37.5 hrs/week

You will be the lead responsible officer within the project team for the preparation, management, monitoring and evaluation of a 3 year work programme to deliver the Landscape Partnership scheme – providing regular reports on progress and key issues to the Project Board and Heritage Lottery Fund as required. You will coordinate the activities of the project officer and the various delivery partners to ensure the successful completion of agreed outputs within the approved timescale and budgets.

You will be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to and experience of environmental/heritage issues alongside a clear understanding of local distinctiveness and reinforcement of the sense of place as a valued link in people’s lives.

Project Officer

Salary £22,000 to £26,000 (with terminal bonus)

3 year fixed term

37.5 hrs/week


You will be work closely with the Project Manager, local groups and schools and project partners to deliver and help coordinate the projects within the scheme. The project activity has been designed to increase understanding and ownership of the local landscape, heritage and wildlife.


You will have experience of successfully co-ordinating or managing community, heritage based and education projects and working effectively with a range of organisations.  You will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of countryside access and interpretation issues and current natural and man-made heritage issues that are relevant to the scheme.


Closing date for all applications: Monday 18th August 2014 5pm


Interviews will be on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th August 2014

Saltscape secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment


Saltscape secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment

Groundwork Cheshire based in Northwich, on behalf of the Saltscape Partnership has received a confirmed grant of £886,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Saltscape project, it was announced today. Over the next 3 years the project aims to conserve and restore important features connected to the area’s landscape, increase awareness and appreciation of the special qualities of this unique area, promote new opportunities for people to access, enjoy and learn about the salt heritage of the area, and develop training programmes for the local community to develop their heritage skills.

There will be many opportunities for people  to get involved in and find out more about the salt landscape in and around Northwich, Winsford, Frodsham and Middlewich through essential conservation work to create habitats and remove invasive species, built and natural environment education visits and sessions for children and adults, conferences and events and talks, performances, history and archaeology and geology projects, recording and social media projects and the restoration of some of the key features in the area such as the Anderton Boatlift Gate Lodges, Swing bridge at Vale Royal Locks and pathways throughout the area.

The provision of training courses will be key to the success of this project.  A number of partner organisations will be providing opportunities for trainees looking for a career in the heritage and conservation fields to learn new skills.

The geology of this part of Cheshire resulted in large salt deposits in the area, which have been used since Roman times. Through the centuries the salt has been exploited as a valuable resource, leading to the establishment of hundreds of small enterprises, new settlements, multinational businesses, a canal network, groundbreaking engineering feats and ingenuity and ultimately natural habitats that are rarely found inland. The salt still provides jobs for many people in the area and the legacy of the salt industry also provides further education, leisure and tourism opportunities.

Dave Blackburn, Chair of the Saltscape Partnership, said: “This project aims to protect, restore, enhance and manage this special area as one environment, to rebuild local people’s relationship with their land, heritage and history and strive to make the area a better place to work, live and visit. Using the knowledge and vision of a wide range of local people and organisations, the Saltscape partnership has developed a range of projects which will bring to life this fascinating story and help to conserve and improve access to many of the features in the area. We are extremely pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund share our enthusiasm and are supporting us with this generous grant.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, said: “Our Landscape Partnership Schemes bring together community groups and public bodies with a shared passion for caring for our incredible natural environment. Our investment in the Saltscape Partnership will bring cohesion to the unique natural and built heritage of this part of Cheshire, and will enable its sights and stories to be shared and appreciated by more and more people.”



Salt Walks by Nantwich Museum



Coincidental with the Celebrating Salt Together Township Events including Winsford and Middlewich Nantwich Museum is offering Salt Walks around the town on Sat 13 September.


Walks will start at the museum in Pillory Street at 10.30 am and 2.00 pm. They will last around one hour and will aim to tell the story of Nantwich Brine through the ages. The route will take in the Old Biot spring from which brine is still drawn to supply the town's Open Air Brine Pool and the various sites in the town where salt was produced. River levels permitting participants will be able to view the brine spring by the river at The Willows. The walks will conclude at the museum where visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about salt production in the town through the ages.


The cost for each walk is £2.50 per person.


For further details and to book a place contact the museum on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone 01270 627104. Website:


Picture of the Salt Works at Middlewich

Photographs showing the old open salt works of Middlewich, this view was taken from the three locks down towards Town Wharf.

Volunteering has never been so much fun!


Ever thought about volunteering in your local community? Middlewich Town Council is on the look- out for enthusiastic people who could help us with the Middlewich and the Great War Weekend on the 4th and 5th October.

This is an exciting community event that not only commemorates and remembers the Great War but also the radical changes that affected our home lives. We have created a balance between the history of the Great War from a Cheshire point of view and the fundraising events that various committees put on in the Town.

We have put together an exhibition, which is the starting point of our aim: to learn as much as we can about Middlewich people during the Great War but also of the families of todays’ Middlewich residents.

The fundraising events were fun and morale boosting, so we have a programme of entertainment over the weekend which reflects that with bands, theatre, drama, sports day races, high tea and the fairground.

We also have a boat rally and entertainment right on the Trent and Mersey, all together a brilliant free weekend out and we need volunteers to help run everything smoothly and join in the fun!

This event is run by Middlewich Town Council with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and we are also part of Cheshire Reflects which has a new website letting everyone know what Great War projects are going on in Cheshire East.

Middlewich Heritage strives for success!

Middlewich Heritage at the moment is like a swan on the Trent and Mersey, looking graceful and laid back on the surface but pedalling hard underneath!

We are truly at the stage of busting point with a heritage archive now holding over 5,000 documents, images and items relating to Middlewich history and the Salt and Chemical Industries. In the last year alone Heritage has been granted two Heritage Lottery Fund awards for Middlewich and the Great War and The Middlewich Settlement Exhibition.

The Great War project is now in full swing! Estimation of participants so far, excluding families and individuals coming in with family information and memorabilia, is around 960 + people, already. Middlewich High School is leading the way, last week their Year 9 pupils designed WWI lessons for the Year 5 Primary pupils, which was fantastically successful. Each primary school are working on topics of their own choice, highlights on the horizon are class sessions with The Tommy Teaches, visiting the Fly-boat Saturn and working on drama pieces with Jason King and Middlewich High School.

There are around 50 schools, organisations, businesses, clubs, groups and individuals working on their projects and displays ready for the big Great War Weekend on the 4th and 5th October. News on all the projects will be filtered through over the next few months. The age group of the project spans 6 years old to 14 years old for schools and on average around 40-50 year olds in other sectors. Oldest participant is 94 years old!

The Middlewich Settlement Exhibition will be a complete re-design and re-vamp of the small museum space contained within Middlewich Library. The Roman exhibition established through a previous Heritage Lottery Funded project Roman Middlewich has been up for nearly 14 years. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund we will be re-interpreting the space, adding an extra display case which we will be able to change every year, focusing more on the development of settlements here at Middlewich. Through this project we will also be creating a ‘virtual museum’ website, so access to our Middlewich collections will be so much easier! Some background work has been done on this project already but we will start in ernest in October, ready to open in April 2015.

We are in the process of securing a English Heritage Grant for emergency repairs to the Murgatroyd’s Brine Pump which will hopefully start next year and a further Heritage Lottery Fund application is going in at the end of May for a full community restoration of the pumps and a purpose built education centre.

Middlewich is also part of ‘Saltscape’ which is a project covering Middlewich to Frodsham following the Weaver Valley and looking at our Salt Landscape and Heritage. This project is under funding consideration at the moment by Heritage Lottery fund and a decision in due soon.

 ‘Saltscape’ is the unique landscape modified by industry, stretching from Frodsham to Middlewich and Winsford and taking in the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.  This includes the built environment and unique flora and fauna more associated to coastal and limestone habitats.

 The Weaver Valley includes many established heritage features, with ‘jewels in the crown’ such as the Anderton Boat Lift and Lion Salt Works, ancient woodland and Middlewich Brine Pump.  The Saltscape vision is to demonstrate a holistic view of the countryside that links these attractions together and demonstrate how all the natural and historic features fit together into the wider landscape.

 The Saltscape Partnership seeks to reconnect people with the remarkable environment on their doorstep opening up access to a range of experiences and ensuring long-term sustainability through a vibrant network of community groups.


Steering group members consist of:

Cheshire West and Chester Council

 Groundwork Cheshire

 The Mersey Forest

 Cheshire Wildlife Trust

 Canal and River Trust

 Middlewich Town Council

 The Weaverham Trust

 The Weaver Valley Partnership


All of these projects are community driven and cannot happen without the support of our volunteers, so a big thanks you goes out to them, it will be great couple of years to be involved with Middlewich Heritage especially if the Saltscape and Murgatroyd’s bids are successful. We will cross our fingers.

Support from our community and our businesses are vital to our work here, it isn’t just about saving Middlewich heritage but being able to get public access to it. To do this we do need sponsors as well as volunteers, and I’m so grateful to Tata Chemicals who have put forward sponsorship money to go towards the Murgatroyd’s Brine Pump Project. We should be so proud that after 2,000 years Middlewich is still producing salt via British Salt (now owned by Tata Chemicals) and transporting it throughout the world. Murgatroyd’s is not just a Brine Pump it is the last survivor of our open pan salt works and quite possibly the last brine pump over a hand dug shaft with original gantry in the UK.

Working with Tata Chemicals is very fitting and together we hope to work towards creating a visitor and educational space that once and for all tells people about who we are and what this town has accomplished.

For further information contact: Kerry Fletcher, Heritage Development Officer on 01606 833434.

I will forward on progress as it happens!

The Mayors Speech, launching the Great War Project October 2013

First of all I would like to welcome you all to the launch of the ‘Middlewich and the Great War Project’.

Next year, 2014 will mark 100 years since the beginning of the Great War.

The war was created partly by uneasy alliances, but more so by an aggressive Germany that took radical action over the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

This action led to the outbreak of war in August 1914, the first shot being taken on the 22nd August 1914.

The Great War was dubbed as the ‘war to end all wars’ and caused considerable loss of life, extensive damage to Europe and great hardship for the populations involved.

This project not only remembers those who fought and worked so hard for victory and peace, but also looks to the impact that this era made… the role of women in society, medical advancements and scientific discoveries to name a few.

In Middlewich there is plenty of documentary evidence of our town in Wartime. Documents such as the Roll of Honour, minute books of the schools and MUDC, papers relating to families, newspapers and war records of the Red Cross. Resources can be found via the town’s cenotaphs, photographs and medals plus many more…

100 years on and the impact of this war can still be felt, it changed Britain and its communities forever in so many ways.

Many people may not realise the significance of the Great War and its legacy to modern life. So let’s take this opportunity for Middlewich Schools, community groups, churches and residents alike to explore and research this important era. We will learn what we can, add portraits to the names listed in the Roll of Honour, and develop ways of bringing what we learn together in a community event, for the community by the community.

Middlewich Town Council will hold a heritage event on the 4th and 5th October 2014, one year from now. This is a community challenge to all to think of acts of commemoration of the Great War and its era and through research, workshops and networking, producing a method of delivery for our residents and visitors to come along and see.

Delivery could be a display at the event, artwork, written work, drama, music, even a show, competition or perhaps a celebration of your own society in the Great War era.

Taking part in this project is a fantastic way to remember those who gave so much and a chance to showcase your own societies and establishments. We ask today that you sign up to this challenge and work with us to produce the biggest Middlewich event yet.

A big thank you to Middlewich High School for working with us on this launch event the ‘Edwardian Tea Party’ and for providing the venue and entertainment. We hope you enjoy your afternoon.

Middlewich Heritage Projects Blog
Throughout the Middlewich Heritage website there is a hoard of exciting information about the past, about work Middlewich Heritage has done, completed projects and events. It's all good but there is a theme that it's all in the past which obscures the fact that there is a lot going on right now but there are no results to publish.
The situation in the previous paragraph shows that there is more we can do and so we want to be able to communicate our activities as they happen even if the work is not completed or the final analysis hasn't been made; that shouldn't stop us from reporting updated information as it happens. This realisation points to the need for regularly updated record of activities and that points straight to having a blog. So here it is!

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