Since cultural landscapes are very diverse and include a lot of different aspects also projects providing knowledge about the „Maintenance of Cultural Landscapes” are thematically quite diverse.
European Heritage Volunteers organises since two decades projects dealing with one or the other aspect of cultural landscapes – partly linked to the cultural aspects of cultural landscapes as for example the documentation of historical buildings or small architecture typical for a specific landscape, partly linked to the natural environment of cultural heritage sites as historical parks or gardens, partly linked to other environmental topics of cultural landscapes as the maintenance of dry grass meadows or – in other regions – of marsh areas.
It is natural that these projects can usually picture a cultural landscape only in a limited scale. That’s why European Heritage Volunteers aimed to design projects which may illustrate the diversity of a cultural landscape and illustrate – both during the hands-on part and the educational part – different aspects of the maintenance of a heritage site.
The cultural landscape Upper Middle Rhine Valley is an ideal example for this approach: The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is an outstanding organic cultural landscape, the present-day character of which is determined both by its geomorphologic and geological setting and by the human interventions, such as settlements, transport infrastructure, and land use, that it has undergone over two thousand years. The cultural landscape includes a rich diversity of both cultural and environmental aspects and enables so a big variety of interventions by volunteering activities.
In 2015, European Heritage Volunteers had organised the hands-on part of the World Heritage Young Experts Forum at the cultural landscape Upper Middle Rhine Valley. More information including detailed descriptions of the particular workshops you can find here.
As a result of the fruitful experiences of the World Heritage Young Experts Forum European Heritage Volunteers decided to organise regularly volunteering projects at the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
The first project “Maintenance of a Cultural Landscape” at Upper Middle Rhine Valley took place in September 2016.
The project included the restoration of historical dray stone walls strengthening the terraces of the former vineyards and works at the former defensive system of Marksburg Castle – one of the most picturesque German castles and the seat of the German Castles Association – as well as the maintenance of biotopes by cutting long-grass meadows and other environmental tasks.
The project had been carried out in the frame of the UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers initiative.
In 2017, the project “Maintenance of a Cultural Landscape” at Upper Middle Rhine Valley will be continued. It is foreseen that the project will take place during September 2017. The exact date and the detailed description will be published in February.
Projects at other cultural landscapes are currently under discussion and will be published in February, too.