Love where you live? Local business Champions help look after the landscape.

Posted: 28.07.14

Local businesses are working together to help look after the natural environment following the launch of a new initiative.

‘Love the South Pennines’ is the Visitor Giving scheme being delivered by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects, as part of its work to protect and promote the South Pennines landscape and support the area’s visitor economy. Rebecca Yorke, coordinator of the scheme, explained:

“Visitor Giving schemes are a simple way of inviting voluntary donations from visitors – and residents – who want to contribute financially to the protection and improvement of the places they enjoy exploring on foot, horseback, bicycle or narrowboat. Many businesses recognise that their livelihood is connected to the landscape and are ideally placed to collect donations from their customers or play their part by making small contributions themselves.”

The money collected through the scheme will support local projects which help improve the natural environment and assist the protection of wildlife habitats.

One of the Hebden Bridge businesses supporting Love the South Pennines is Mountain Wild on Crown Street. Owner Sue Nixon is selling specially produced badges on behalf of the scheme and is also making a donation per pair of walking socks sold. Sue said:

“We’re supporting Love the South Pennines because we know caring for the natural environment is important to our customers. Even though the individual amounts collected are small, together they add up to more significant amounts that can be used to clear footpaths, improve access and make our special countryside even more attractive for everyone.”

Kate Claughan at The Book Case is also supporting the scheme by donating an amount for every Ordnance Survey mug sold. The mugs are exclusive to the Book Case and feature Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. Kate said,

“At the Book Case we recognise there is a link between the natural landscape and our local economy. Many people are attracted here because of the landscape and it makes business sense to help look after it.”

There are currently 23 active visitor giving schemes in the UK. Nurture Lakeland’s scheme in Cumbria is the largest and raises an annual income of approximately £150,000 for projects in the Lake District National Park. There are similar schemes in the Cotswolds, the Broads, the Isle of Arran and the Peak District National Park.

Love the South Pennines is currently in its pilot phase and local businesses are invited to contact Rebecca if they would like to get involved. Rebecca continued,

“No matter the size or nature of the business, there is an appropriate form of Visitor Giving. Love the South Pennines has already identified a number of small environmental projects we would like to support, but we will also be asking all participating businesses to help us select where the collected contributions go – so there’s even more reason to get involved!”

To learn more about Love the South Pennines, visit www.southpennines.co.uk .

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust