A £16,500 HERITAGE Lottery grant has been awarded to the Drake's Trail project to create a series of podcasts with students from Tavistock College.

The grant comes from the Young Roots Programme, which aims to involve 13-25 year-olds in finding out about their heritage, developing skills, building confidence and promoting community involvement.

Drake's Trail is the name given to the Sustran's Route 27 network between Tavistock and Plymouth and is named in honour of the Tavistock-born adventurer Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.

Year 9 students from Tavistock College will produce a series of Drake's Trail-inspired podcasts which will be available from February 2009.

The young people will be working alongside Dartmoor-based Aune Head Arts, Buckland Abbey in Yelverton, Tavistock Museum and local historians, and will be involved in all aspect of creating the files, including research, scripting, acting and editing.

The podcasts will be available to download from both the Drake's Trail and Aune Head Arts websites. 

Phil Baker, West Devon Borough Council's Drake's Trail project officer, said that the team was delighted with the award.

Phil said: 'The main Drake's Trail route passes Tavistock College so it's great to be able to involve them in the development of these podcasts. 

'Creating an audio file, or 'mini-play', we will be able to share more of our rich heritage with walkers and cyclists than if we just used static information boards.

'We are very grateful to the Young Roots Heritage Lottery Fund for having faith in the students' ability to create a memorable and long-lasting project.'

Cllrs Margaret Garton and Philip Sanders from West Devon Borough Council, who both represent the Buckland Monachorum ward, said they were delighted to see so many young people working in partnership with arts-based organisations using modern technology to bring the project alive.

Julie Cooper, acting head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: 'It is so important to get young people involved in the heritage that surrounds them by bringing it to life and making it relevant to them, and this is a wonderful project that will do just that.'

For further information about Drake's Trail, contact Phil Baker on 01822 813659, or email [email protected]">[email protected]