Teesdale is an area of natural beauty with many historic and cultural sites of significance. It has also inspired the likes of John Sell Cotman, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott and J.M.W Turner.
Despite this, Teesdale can feel like the 'lost landscape'; often overlooked for the nearby Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines AONB.
The five-year Heart of Teesdale scheme restored and rejuvenated the area, inspiring people to re-discover all it has to offer. A total of 75 projects ran, ranging from nature trails and walks, to restoration of historical structures and plays acting out tales from Teesdale. There were youth projects and care home projects, bulb planting drives and wildlife surveys, and workshops to teach heritage crafts and skills.
The project has involved volunteers giving 16,077 hours; 13 youth groups; 13 disadvantaged groups, including four care homes and Blind Life Durham. 280 landowners or farmers were engaged.
People of all ages have developed their skills in Teesdale - 1,524 people gained new or enhanced skills, with 45 involved in ecological monitoring programmes and 10 trained farm building surveyors.
Volunteer Ian Moorhouse, 74, says the project gave him a chance to make a long term impact:
"We tried to get this project off the ground but it looked unlikely to happen until we secured National Lottery funding. We have a long-term, sustainable conservation effort in place now that will outlast the project. I've lived in Teesdale for 22 years and I feel proud to promote the area."