Managing a Masterpiece





Managing a Masterpiece (MaM) was a three and a half year programme to understand, conserve and celebrate the landscape of the Stour Valley. The programme concluded in January 2014 and the final Evaluation Report can be viewed here (2.6Mb).

A film was produced by a local production house Aura Films and Amanda Findley, and is a 13-minute summary of the Managing a Masterpiece Programme.

Please see our Publications pages for the walking and cycling leaflets produced.

As part of the evaluation of Managing a Masterpiece a series of Stour Valley Heritage Compendia were produced, detailing the landscape, cultural associations, built heritage of the Stour Valley, containing copies of original documents, maps and photographs:

The Landscape Partnership Scheme 

There were 70 projects covering archaeology, biodiversity, and conservation of historic features, which involved volunteers, visitors and organisations already working in the Valley. The Stour Valley has long inspired artists and writers. MaM focussed on clusters of heritage hotspots around Clare, Sudbury, Bures, Stoke by Nayland and Dedham. 

MaM consiststed of three programmes; understanding the masterpiece, conserving the masterpiece and celebrating the masterpiece. 


MaM was been drawn up by three organisations working together as the Stour Valley Landscape Partnership. These were: the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Stour Valley Project, Essex County Council’s Historic Environment Branch and Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service.

The scheme was overseen by a board of representatives from Babergh District Council, Braintree District Council, Colchester Borough Council, Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project, Diocese of Chelmsford; Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, English Heritage, Environment Agency, Essex County Council, Field Studies Council at Flatford Mill, National Trust, Natural England, Otley College, River Stour Trust, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, Tendring District Council, University Campus Suffolk and the University of Essex.


£910,000: The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme

£67,000: Development funding grant to the Stour Valley Landscape Partnership for 'Managing a Masterpiece' from The Heritage Lottery Fund

£100,000: Contributed by the partners.


For more information contact the Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley Project on 01394 445225 or email

Landscapes for life link image