Elan Links: People, Nature, Water

The Elan Valley is a special place with a unique landscape, story and history.

Elan Links is a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure this heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future.

26 projects will be delivered between 2018 and 2023 under three themes:

£3.4million will be invested in the Elan Valley area to safeguard heritage and increase the opportunities for visitors.

At the heart of the Elan Valley story is water.

Today, the Elan Valley’s carefully managed water catchment is a beautiful and varied landscape, combining remote hill land, isolated farmsteads and steep-sided wooded valleys.  It is a haven for wildlife and a thriving tourist destination.

Our final project will be to ensure that the Elan Valley’s heritage is sustained in the long-term and that investments made in the projects don’t end when the scheme finishes.

Throughout the scheme, there are lots of opportunities for you to get involved including:

  • Conservation
  • Biodiversity monitoring
  • Guided walks and activity leaders
  • Event support and marshalling
  • Archiving and research
  • Condition surveys

The projects are delivered by a partnership board, supported by a small team.

The scheme has been in development since 2013. During this development phase, a Landscape Conservation Action Plan was developed which assessed the current threats and opportunities there are for landscape and all aspects of heritage within it.

The boundary of the Elan Estate, in the Cambrian Mountains, Mid Wales, is the location for many of the projects but making the links with the market town of Rhayader and the city of Birmingham has been essential to the narrative that underpins the programme.

It is a unique landscape that combines remote hill land, isolated farmsteads, steep-sided wooded valleys and the reservoirs that were created by an extraordinary feat of Victorian engineering that began to supply clean water to Birmingham in 1904 and continues to do so today. 

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.