In the early days when a Project Officer was first employed to work with landowners in the Vale of Pickering the name arrived at was ‘The Cayton and Flixton Carrs Wetland Project’. This reflected the original project area, some ten square kilometres bounded roughly by the villages of Staxton, Seamer, Cayton and Folkton.
The project sought to encourage wetland-based farming schemes on the peat floodplain of the River Hertford, a straightened tributary of the Yorkshire Derwent. The Cayton and Flixton Carrs name embraced both north and south sides of the River Hertford floodplain. It focused attention on the core area of deep fen peat soils on which to target farm schemes but steered away from names that might cause confusion, for example with the archaeological research project at Star Carr or the former landfill site of Seamer Carr.
After a few years advocating agri-environment grants for land management it soon became clear that a broader swathe of floodplain land needed to be included in the wetland project’s remit. Thus the partnership came to represent the low ground of the River Hertford Carrs from Muston in the east to Ganton in the west.
Following this geographic expansion the project acquired a new shorthand name, ‘The Carrs Wetland Project’ and a revised logo was produced. It kept the generic look of the project’s original logo, but reflected the broader geographic focus.
Although The Carrs Wetland Project no longer enjoys a Project Officer (partnership funding from outside agencies came to an end) it has remained as a cause – a project with a small ‘p’ if you will.
Keeping this blog live, albeit with longer intervals between posts, is a way to keep interest in and awareness of The Carrs in the minds of local people and interested parties. It keeps the knowledge gained during the project available to people and easily found online. At best it may help to keep the concept of The Carrs Wetland as a place rather than a project: Scarborough’s fenland peat, a seam of low ground, once a vast wetland landscape, drained through great communal efforts over centuries. There is still a significant opportunity for it to become a substantial wetland area again.