Settlers of the Nene Valley

Explore, re-create and celebrate the journeys made by settlers as they travelled, settled and traded along the Nene Valley.

Settlers of the Nene Valley – an exciting new project!

In January 2018, Rockingham Forest Trust began work on a new and exciting three year community heritage project, “Settlers of the Nene Valley”.

Our Project Team

We have a small team supported by partners, creative craftworkers and experts in their field for specific elements, together with the involvement of local community volunteers.

Who were the Settlers?

We shall be exploring the successive settlement along the Nene Valley by Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and Medieval settlers over the past 5,000 years. Our aim is to create a better understanding of how these settlers changed the valley, what can still be seen of this today, and what can be learned from them.

Our Activities

Working with local communities and schools, our project will explore, re-create and celebrate the journeys made by these settlers as they travelled, settled and traded along the Nene Valley. We will focus in particular on:

  1. Where and how the Settlers lived

During the first year we will build a small multi-period barn/lodge using the different materials and building techniques that would have been familiar to the Nene Valley settlers.

Once it is built we shall use it for activities which reflect the settlers’ daily life, such as weaving/dyeing fabric, pottery, and historic cookery and food-based activities.

  1. What we can learn from past Settlers

Local schools and communities will have the chance to learn about the settlers’ cultural beliefs, how they traded, why they chose to settle in the Nene Valley, and also what lasting effect they had on the landscape.

Community Experiences

There will be opportunities for individuals and community groups to participate in activities such as weaving/dyeing fabric, Medieval brick-making, Saxon pottery, Roman cookery, and learning new skills in the traditional crafts, e.g., blacksmithing and woodworking.

September Event

Over each of the three years of the project there will be a major event in September at Stanwick Lakes. Each one will capture the growing knowledge and understanding of the settlers that the project has collected through working with local communities and individuals.

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteers are invited to help us construct the multi-era barn, construct a Roman Mosaic floor, help with re-enactment events, such as bread making through the ages, or research particular aspects of the project’s 5,000 year period.

Anyone who likes the idea of learning new skills, exploring their local history and making new friends should contact us on 01933 625527 or email

Keep in touch with the project:

on Facebook – Settlers of the Nene Valley

on Twitter – @NeneSettlers


Rockingham Forest Trust, which manages Stanwick Lakes, is one of eleven organisations in the Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme that have received funding for activities which explore the Nene Valley, its people, heritage and identity in a changing landscape.