Help Kinetika find 100 stories from the Land of the Fanns

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme together with arts organisation Kinetika have been searching for 100 stories about the local area, its landscape, people, places and history. It’s time to add your stories.

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme covers the areas of Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Brentwood, Thurrock and west Essex. Working with renowned Thurrock-based arts organisation Kinetika, the scheme has been gathering stories from across the area to be written up, illustrated, recorded and eventually turned into 100 silk flags. The flags and stories will form part of a celebratory Walking Arts Festival planned for late spring 2020.

The aim of the Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is to restore the natural and historic landscapes within the area, building understanding and connections amongst local people so they can enjoy and celebrate the special character of this often overlooked and misunderstood place. By drawing out and collecting together 100 stories, the unique character of the Land of the Fanns, once described as ‘the grandest prospect in England’ will once again begin to be appreciated and valued.

Kinetika is running free workshops across the Land of the Fanns and inviting local people to come along and share their tales about the places they live, love or that have special memories for them.  There are two different workshops on offer to help gather the 100 stories: informal writing workshops and drawing workshops to help illustrate the stories. The workshops are free and open to all. No previous experience of story telling or drawing is necessary. The workshops will be led by professional artists: Ali Pretty, Artistic Director of Kinetika and Jo Beal, both of whom are very experienced in working with communities and running friendly, fun, relaxed session for everyone to enjoy and at which to feel welcome. They will help illustrate the stories in a simple, bold way, so that the illustration can be used as designs for silk flags.

The workshops begin on Wednesday 27 November at Eastbrookend Country Park and then run as follows:   

 Friday 29th November 2019

Informal Story Writing workshop – Great Warley Church Hall – 10am – 12.30pm

Monday 2nd December

Informal Story Writing workshop – Thames Chase Forest Centre – 2pm – 4.30pm

Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Illustrate Your Story workshopEastbrookend Country Park Millennium Visitor Centre 1– 3.30pm

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Illustrate Your Story workshop – Great Warley Church Hall  – 2pm – 4.30pm

Friday 6th December – Thames Chase Forest Centre

Illustrate Your Story workshop – Thames Chase Forest Centre – 10am – 2.30pm

The workshops will continue in 2020 with story editing sessions taking place in January at the High House Production Park in Purfleet where Kinetika has its design studio and further informal story writing and illustrating workshops happening at various locations too. Full details of all workshops, times, dates and locations can be found on the Land of the Fanns website.

It is from these stories that the Land of the Fanns team will learn what spaces and places are important to the community and what they value and want to protect. The 100 stories will be digitally mapped across the Land of the Fanns area with future workshops designed to help equip local communities with the resources to better protect these sites through nominating them as assets of community value

In March and April 2020 there will also be free creative workshops in film-making and the silk painting process known as batik to create the 100 silk flags. The culmination of the work on the stories and flags  will be celebrated with a Walking Arts Festival planned for May/June 2020.

Land of the Fanns are collecting stories online too for those who cannot attend the workshops in person.  Download a Call Out for Stories and a Story Form from the Land of the Fanns website and share more of your stories and those of your friends and families.

The workshops are all free and open to all but need to be booked via Eventbrite. Follow the link from the website. To find out more about the 100 stories, please go to

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership also includes Havering Council, Barking & Dagenham Council, Thurrock Council, Brentwood Council, Thames Chase Trust, Forestry England, Essex County Council, Thames Estuary Partnership and Thames 21.

Twitter – @landofthefanns

Facebook – @landofthefanns

Instagram – landofthefanns

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Aisling Woodhead

Land of the Fanns Environment Engagement Officer.

Tel: 01708 642978

About Land of the Fanns

“The surviving London fans on the edge of east London – fens, forest and farms that despite being fragmented, are exceptionally rich in unique layers of geographical, built, natural and cultural heritage that has continually been evolving since the last Ice Age – will be positively managed and understood as the last remaining landscape of London as it once was” Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Vision

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme is an ambitious 5 year programme comprised of 26 individual projects. The Scheme is aimed at engaging the local communities of Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Thurrock, Brentwood and south-west Essex with the natural, geological, archaeological and built heritage of their local area.

This unique £2.4 million Scheme was awarded £1.36 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016. The Scheme brings together a number of different partner organisations with a commitment to work towards a shared goal of enabling local people to discover, restore and enjoy what’s special about the local landscape.


About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

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