We are pleased to award the Cultural and natural heritage: A tool for socio-economic development project £97,925
This project will rehabilitate an ancient spring and its associated square, which is part of the Palestinian World Heritage Site ‘Land of Olives and Vines’.
The Land of Olives and Vines
The Land of Olives and Vines is a cultural landscape situated a few kilometres to the south west of Jerusalem, in the Central Highlands between Nablus and Hebron. The landscape is built up of a set of tiered framed valleys irrigated through a traditional underground water system fed by ancient springs, which is also used to supply the nearby village of Battir.
The valleys and stone terraces of the landscape are maintained by the people of Battir, and used for garden production, or planted with grapevines and olive trees. The site is included in Unesco’s World Heritage Sites 'In Danger' list, threatened by the intention to build a dividing wall through the middle of the site.
An ancient spring and village square
This ten month project will rehabilitate the ancient Ein al-Balad spring (the most important of the six springs that feed the Land of Olive and Vines) and its associated square in Battir. The square, which overlooks the terraces of the world heritage site, is a central meeting point for local people, though its role has declined as the area has been subject to neglect and subsequently fallen into disrepair.
Graffiti will be removed from the stones around the spring, which will also be cleaned and repointed. Recent concrete additions will be replaced with tiles and new handrails and facades will be installed. Alongside this, the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation (CCHP) will deliver a series of community engagement activities, and carry out promotional activities to raise awareness and increase interest in the area. CCHP will also prepare a plan for future sustainable restoration and development of Battir as a Palestinian World Heritage Site.