Mission Statement

‘To act as custodians of those properties of cultural heritage and natural beauty held in trust and maintain them for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe as a legacy for future generations’.

 

NATIONAL TRUST OF ZIMBABWE

NEWSLETTER

VOL 2 OF 2015

OCTOBER

 

CONTENTS

 

• MEMBERSHIP

• UPDATE ON LOCAL PROPERTIES

• INTERNATIONAL NEWS

• GENERAL

 

• MEMBERSHIP

Harare membership is currently 97, Mutare 62, Nyanga 25 and Worlds View 1 – total 185

We continue to encourage our members to spread the word in order to increase membership and raise more interest in the NTZ, please make an effort to visit the properties highlighted in our newsletters and we also encourage any feedback you may have in order to improve where we can.

Membership and reciprocity.

After lengthy and fruitful discussions with Tony Alegria, new Chairman Tree Society also Birdlife Zimbabwe (Mashonaland), the following five points emerged. 

It was agreed that the TREE SOCIETY would send their newsletter for our members to read, and NTZ to do likewise.

It was agreed that NTZ members would be entitled to attend all Tree Society outings and functions.

Tree Society members can visit NTZ properties free of charge. In this regard they do not have cards but will print some only for their members requiring them and specifying the date and property to be visited. This includes a discount at La Rochelle.

Tony has offered to identify, label and catalogue the trees in all the relevant NTZ properties. It is a very generous and worthwhile offer which will be of great benefit to the Trust. Perhaps we can persuade the Bird Society to do the same.

 

• UPDATE ON LOCAL PROPERTIES

 

LA ROCHELLE – The property is now in full swing so to speak, and open to the public for visits, overnight accommodation, functions, conferences, weddings etc…and we look forward to feedback from visitors on the refurbishment of the entire property including the gardens and the shade houses.

Please contact the La Rochelle Centre direct for all your enquiries regarding hotel bookings, weddings, conferences, functions, special events.

 

With thanks to ANNA DE WET TRINDADE – one of our visitors here are a few very recent photographs from La Rochelle…..included with kind permission from Anna!!!

 

CONTACT DETAILS: reservations@larochellecentre.com – Tel: 0772 715 020

 

As you can see, the refurbishment has been very successful and the newly planted rose gardens are settled and looking stunning right now.

 

 

MURAWAH’S HILL – No update yet – although discussions continue with regard to opening the property to the public with assistance from the Mutare Museum and supporting concerned members.

 

WORLD’S VIEW – Report May-Sept 2015 – From Gill Honeyman

Thanks to Matirina for his single handed efforts in keeping World’s View  in such good all round  condition in my absence over the past 5 months.  Still giving of his own time to deal with running repairs to benches, plumbing and supervision of staff and finances.

Landscaping of the small rocky outcrop (for our Protea Project) is now well underway with the construction of a wide stone-stepped pathway on the north side and some preparation work on the southern edge. It is hoped that the landscaping work will be completed before the rains and all that will be required  will be to prepare the, already identified, pockets of soil for the  planting out of the first batch of our protea seedlings - when the rains eventually arrive.

Matirina has continued with the planting programme  at No 12 of the seeds obtained from Kirstenbosch. Some varieties have germinated very poorly or not at all and we have discontinued their propagation. Others have done exceptionally well i.e. Cynaroides, Eximia, Susanna, Repens and Lucadendron Nobile. Some of the other varieties were attacked by cane rats and our new troupe of monkeys put paid to others.

The past winter was not kind to us and we lost a great number of plants at the view due to severe frost. Now drought has struck!  The Connemara Lakes are at their lowest level in decades and a hosepipe ban is, understandably, in force.  However, this is still a learning curve for us gardeners on the mountain and we must now take due cognisance of the extreme conditions that prevail and plan future garden development and planting accordingly. As much as we would love to see the whole fenced area  planted with more and more protea and indigenous material this will not be possible with the limited amount of water available to us at this time of year. We must now concentrate our efforts on the areas that are presently developed/planted and with careful water management we should be able to sustain the protea seedlings when planted on the small  ‘Kirstenbosch’ kopje through future dry periods.

The good news is that the Council have now completed the bulldozer work on the Joan MacIlwaine Drive. The road has now been  widened, levelled and all rocks removed giving easy (and speedy) access to WV.  The bad news is that the grader has broken down and the Council are unable, at present, to complete the work of constructing a camber, making the mitre drains and compacting with gravel the steeper gradients. It is essential that this work be complete before the rains or we shall have only a mud bath as access.

It is our intention to contact Mr Kundishora Chipunza, Chief Archaeologist with National Monuments and Museums in connection with the ruins, old and newly found, on NTZ land at WV, to see if he would be interested in coming up and giving his advice. In a recent magazine article he is pictured surveying some ruins and the thought being that there were used for gold mining.  The map accompanying the article is almost identical to the design of the new found ruins up here.

Thanks again to Helen Hyslop for her efforts in procuring the sundial which I collected on my way through Harare.  It is now in situ  and some informative literature on sundials has been placed in the office together with  some beautiful colour photographs of our sun and a large framed colour picture of our solar system. Hopefully this will enlighten and interest our many visitors. - Gill Honeyman                                                           

RHODES NYANGA HISTORICAL EXHIBITION – Report from Edone Ann LOGAN

RHODES NYANGA HISTORICAL EXHIBITION - REPORT FOR COUNCIL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER, 2015.

September was a good month for visitors, but October was very quiet. Apart from the re-organisation of the Early 20th Century household in the Loft, and the addition of further items to the Kitchen and  Sports section, there has not been much activity in the Museum itself.  We have received some valuable, generous donations – two handsome period glass display cabinets,  a complete set of NADA, Rhodesiana and Heritage journals,  and two very old copies of classics.  After our last meeting a gentleman arrived with two strips of spotlights which he said he noticed we needed when he visited the Museum recently.  We are so grateful for the generosity of the Zimbabwe community.

Some members have been involved with the INTO Heritage Cultural Project.  Annie Wilkes, a talented potter,has attended every session, travelling 50-odd kms each way. The six teachers and 150 pupils involved from three Nyanga schools (one senior and two primary schools) have entered into the spirit of the project with keen interest and enthusiasm.  We are grateful to Mr Dhlandhlara of the SOLON Foundation for liaising with the schools and attending as many sessions as possible in his busy schedule. The planning meetings with the teachers are educational and enjoyable for us, and we communicate thereafter on Whatsapp! The teachers prepare the pupils before each session.  A tour of the Museum, and then discussions on my Family, my Tribe, my Traditions and Culture, Family Tree, Totems,  etc were included in the first phase.  A visit to the Parks Pit Structure was included in the second lesson. SOLON funded 100 copies of Robert Soper’s “Terrace Builders of Nyanga” and the members of the Pre-History Society donated 100 copies of Rob Burrett’s “Shadows of our Ancestors” so that every Nyanga school has access to these books , and the Nyanga Ancient Culture will hopefully be included in the curriculum.

 Phase two this term, includes an appreciation of Cultural Heritage.  The sculptors at the Nyanga Craft Village are participating in the project by giving the children hands-on experience of  different crafts, including sculpture, reed-mat making and pottery.  The craftsmen are keen to explain the importance of Cultural Heritage to the pupils. They plan to invite local musicians and dancers to the Center to talk to the children too. The Zuwa Weavers are eager to demonstrate their craft to the  children in the second sessions, showing the various stages in the making of a carpet.  (We have realised that these crafters are enjoying the opportunity of achieving something constructive for their community in these quiet, hard times. )

We are pleased that Chairman, David Scott, had the opportunity of thanking INTO at their Conference on our behalf for the funding which has assisted in the running of this Project.

The toilet block has almost reached roof level!  Mr. Bepe has agreed to repaint the Shop when the new block is being painted.  The Management of the Hotel is looking forward to the completion of this new block as much as we are! - Edone Logan. Chairperson, RNHE

• INTERNATIONAL EVENTS – INTO Conference held in Cambridge UK this year, 6-11 September 2015

The National Trust of Zimbabwe was represented at the Conference by Sharon Waterworth and David Scott, our Chairman. It is a wonderful event, hosted every two years by different National Trust country members worldwide. The next Conference (2017) will be held in Bali.

 

16th INTO CONFERENCE, SEPTEMBER 2015 - CAMBRIDGE, UK

REPORT AND ACTION PLAN FOR NTZ

Introduction

The conference began on Monday 7th September with delegates attending from over 60 countries, in Cambridge. After a warm welcome notice of the election of a new Executive Committee: the new Chairman was now: Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE who replaced Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC (who stood down after an eight year term as Chairman and who has overseen the organisation’s development and growth since 2005).  Emily Drani, Executive Director of the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, was elected as INTO’s new Vice-Chairman, good to hear that.  After an address by Dame Reynolds His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales officially opened the conference via a video link along with Dame Glen Ghosh.    Then the Hon. Jonathon Porritt, CBE, a British environmentalist and writer perhaps best known for his championing of Green issues and his advocacy of the Green Party of England and Wales spoke eloquently on the role of the NT movement in the 21st century and how it can assist with addressing climate change. Further speakers followed after lunch and the afternoon ended on a very colourful and lively note with a group photo being taken with delegates wearing their national costume. In the evening a gala welcome was held at Kings College and we were treated to a choral recital played on original baroque instruments.

 

On Tuesday morning delegates were divided into various groups and over the next three days we attended workshops at five different NT sites around Cambridge:  Wimpole Estate, Wicken Fen, Anglesey Abbey, Ickworth Estate and the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. The format entailed a number of short one hour sessions on a range of different topics that relate to the work of INTO member organisations. On the second and fourth day of the conference we were in small groups of around 20 people and we attended four specific sessions each day. On the afternoon of the fourth day David and I spilt up so we could cover a selection of topics between us.  The final day saw us back in Cambridge discussing further how to grow the movement: INTO into the future and reflections on the conference. There was a vote of thanks for all those involved in hosting the five day event and Catherine Leonard was awarded the title of Secretary General in recognition of all her hard work over many years of service. The conference then closed, as it started, with another group photo.

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A selection of photos from the Conference – thank you to Sharon Waterworth!

Here is a brief overview of each of the workshop discussion groups:

 

Defining and Using Spirit of Place Statement

This explored the principle of Spirit of Place against the backdrop of internationally significant places. Conservation is about revealing and sharing the significance of places and ensuring their special qualities are protected, enhanced, understood and enjoyed by present and future generations. This approach draws on ideas developed in international heritage statements such as the Burra Charter and seeks to identify the emotional and local-level responses to places of historic significance.

 

Using the Past to Engage with Contemporary Issues

What responsibilities do we, as a movement, have for addressing contemporary issues through the lens of the past? 2015 sees a number of significant anniversaries that speak to us today. Commemoration of World War One (1914-1918) reminds us of the legacy of that conflict for contemporary geopolitics. The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta (sealed in June 1215) is a moment to reflect upon the worldwide spread of ideas and values that have shaped our politics since the medieval period.

 

Meeting the Needs and Expectations of today’s visitors

The focus was on coherent and meaningful stories about places, while meeting the diverse needs of our audiences. Competition for audiences has never been keener; we need constantly to keep ahead of our rivals and be aware of the needs and expectations of visitors.  How can sustainable tourism and nature or heritage management balance quality visitor experience with conservation benefits and stakeholder dialogue/co-operation? The question of whose cultural heritage we are seeking to present, and the responsibilities that the custodianship of heritage brings with it, resonates with many of the Trusts around the world.

 

Cultural Identities and Intangible Heritage in a Homogenising World

This explored working with intangible heritages within the context of a globalising world. Intangible heritage is the subject of its own UNESCO convention (2003), and is a precious commodity that needs nurturing and protecting just as much as the physical heritage of places, buildings and landscapes. The UK Government is yet to ratify the convention, and this may indicate that the UK has much to learn from other nations about the value of intangible heritage and techniques for promoting it. At the last ICNT in Entebbe, Uganda, in 2013, INTO called for special measures to protect and promote intangible heritage, especially within the least economically developed nations.

 

What do young people want from us?

With increasingly elderly populations in the developed world and large young populations in the developing world, how do we ensure our places are relevant and what cultural story are we telling our young people? This workshop explored both our role within this, and some of the tools and techniques INTO members have used to try to connect to younger audiences and minds.

 

Communicating our Brand and Cause

Recent years have seen a transformation in communication techniques and tools and this workshop shared how we are approaching sharing our messages around the world. It also posed the question of how we create a shared understanding about the cause of an organisation – why it exists, what it does and how it does it? As a movement, what do we think is the future of membership organisations like ours? Do we understand what membership means to people and what the alternatives are? How can we better communicate our cause?

 

Techniques for Fundraising

Fundraising is a vital element of our work around the world, and this session explored the many ways we look to secure external funding for our work.

 

Working with Volunteers

Volunteer involvement is one of the most cost effective ways to grow resource or “extend the budget” and involving more volunteers helps the NT reach more people (growing our supporter base) and increase our relevance (as supporters help shape our work, making it meaningful to them and others). But the future “supply” of volunteers will be very different: it will be a more competitive environment with future volunteers having different expectations.

 

Funding our Futures; Financial Models from around the world

There used to be a large deficit at properties in the NT but now some generate a surplus. Properties gain income from many different sources: partnership agreements with third parties, residential and farm lettings, holiday accommodation, commercial income from visitors and endowment income. What wider relevance is there in these pathways to financial sustainability?

 

Legal and Governance Frameworks

National Trusts vary in their relationship to the state: some occupying a quasi-public sector role, others wholly private and independent. With the retreat of the state from many walks of life following the financial crisis of 2008, NTs face both opportunities (in the form of the potential acquisition of new responsibilities formerly undertaken by the state) and challenges (given the increased pressure on resources).

Our Role as Campaigners and Trusted Critics

As individual organisations, but also as a members of INTO, we have a powerful voice that can shape or influence agendas on desks beyond ours. What perspectives can we share on this from the different approaches we have all tried, and where have we achieved success beyond our boundaries. What can we share about the areas we choose to speak out on, and how do we balance the expectations of our existing supporters?

 

Adapting our Land Management to a ChangingWorld

How can NTs best intervene in the debates about natural and built heritage and learn from the experience of different international contexts? Threats to the character and identity of both natural and built heritage through inappropriate development are a common refrain across the INTO network. Likewise what are the approaches which help to balance the competing demands on the finite resource of land, and how does the impact of climate change shape this? We draw attention to the importance of effective planning to meet the needs of a growing population (for housing, transport, energy, jobs) while at the same time preserving the aspects of the landscape that we value most (green spaces, biodiversity, natural beauty and historic interest).

 

The Relevance of Agriculture and Farming

With a growing population around the world, there are growing pressures on land over the centuries and decades, but what role have our organisations taken in conserving the tangible or intangible aspects of agriculture and farming, or leading the way in shaping its future? What is expectation of our supporters on our role in these questions? What are the ways we can connect our supporters and visitors to understanding the impacts and opportunities that 21st century agriculture and farming presents? Museums of rural or agricultural life are common in many countries, but what are the ways that we can present the real challenges and experiences of modern farming to a modern audience.

 

Landscape and Urban Scale Conservation

How can we build effective collaborations and partnerships in landscape scale or city wide projects?  Owning and managing buildings, land and landscapes is something that sets the NT movement apart from other charities and campaigns, but what are the methods that we find most effective when building support and action across a broader front? How do we not just own, but also influence and lead, and have a positive impact beyond our legal boundaries?

 

From Source to Sea: Working with Water Catchment, Rivers and the Coast

As so many NTs belong to small island nations, the coast is vitally important to our movement and our supporters. This year, the Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign celebrates its golden jubilee and, inspired by Neptune, the Conservatoire du Littoral also mark their 40th anniversary. This workshop will discuss our longer-term drive to adapt to changing climatic conditions and mitigate the impact of future flooding events through the way we work with water from source to sea.

 

Clearly not all of the topics were relevant for the NTZ for instance the last one but we enjoyed all the discussions nevertheless. One of the two main themes of the conference was how to deal with climate change and how to grow the movement.  I found that the conference was extremely uplifting and inspirational and it provided the NTZ with a valuable networking event, building of relationships, sharing of experiences, ideas, problems and solutions and it gave continuity to NTZ being present at the INTO conferences.  I felt privileged to attend on NTZ behalf and left feeling re-energised.  I am so glad that I was able to attend.

Interesting enough TV programmes like Downtown Abbey, Who Do you Think you are? etc have had a good knock on effect for the NT. It has created ‘Ancestral Tourism’.   Also we learnt that the Uganda NT have been  inspired to act after they saw a copy of the Harare Heritage Map that they picked up during a visit to the Museum of Natural Science in Harare.

Conference Outcomes for the NTZ

Conference outcomes relevant for the NTZ noted from the workshops that I attended and from people that I met and spoke to are as follows:

• An Africa Forum (Kenya, S.Africa, Zanzibar, Nigeria and Uganda) was established so that we can share information/ideas/problems/challenges/build capacity etc. with the rest of Africa via an intranet network that Bill Turner is going to establish on the INTO site where regular webinars can be held with all countries attending live. All NTZ regional committees will become members of this forum.

• Bill Tuner is also going to supply NTZ with Membership database (free of charge).

• NTZ should blow its own trumpet more and market itself much more.

• Brand and Cause – We should capitalise on the global NT brand that stands for trust, power, professionalism etc.

• Being part of INTO gives the NTZ a higher profile, gives us greater influence and power and assist with providing some protection from potential threats.

• Being a member of INTO makes our voice much louder and stronger.

• We should use social media a lot more than we are currently especially if we want to engage with the younger generation as they are potential members. 

• Potential funding for Harare Heritage Committee: Plaque scheme

• Fund raising ideas.

• Lots of informative brochures, leaflets, books and maps (to be given to Charles Hyslop to file).

• Ideas for a map/information leaflet and display map for LAR.

• Most NTs worldwide have standard processes and so they have the relevant templates i.e. for financials, conservation management plans, wildlife management, ethical disposal of physical donations, risk assessment, marketing, environmental management plans, curatorship, volunteer handbooks, management issues etc. and are happy to share them if we require them.

• We were given an invitation to attend the 17th INTO Conference 2017, Theme “Strengthen our Culture to Promote Environmental Sustainability, 11-15 September (TBX), Bali, Indonesia. Looking into the future. 

 

 

 

• Our FACEBOOK page is now quite active with up to date news and photographs, and we encourage those of you with FACEBOOK access to use it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Trust-of-Zimbabwe/340040082696277?ref=hl

 

If you are visiting any National Trust properties, please be generous with photographs of your visit and share them with us for inclusion on our FB page with names and comments!

 

 

 

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Heritage is precious: treasure it.