Pennine Prospects Annual Conference 2007

Posted: 5.10.07

On the 5th October 2007 Pennine Prospects held its first Annual Conference at the Square Chapel, Halifax attended by 100 delegates from a range of organisations from Government offices to local and national voluntary organisations.

Pam Warhurst, Chair, opened the conference with a speech outlining the history and roots of both Pennine Prospects and the South Pennines and defining the purpose of the day.

The speakers were:

Roger Clarke, Board Member Natural England spoke on the Importance of the South Pennines as a Quality and Historically Important Landscape.

Professor Peter Roberts, Chair Academy for Sustainable Communities spoke on Sustainable Communities Within a Landscape.

Kate Ashbrook, Chief Executive Open Spaces Society, spoke on the Importance of the South Pennines for Sustainable Tourism and Wellbeing.

Malcolm Brown, Area Director East Northern Rail, spoke on Sustainable Transport.

Following lunch five workshops were held. The purpose of the workshops was to give delegates a chance to comment on what they had heard in the morning and what they knew of the activities of Pennine Prospects. Lively debate took place in each workshop from which the facilitators were required to draw three key points for Pennine Prospects to take away and consider which will also be a valuable input to the process of the annual review of the Business Plan.

Conference Workshops

1) Sustainable Moorland Management

  • Need to clearly articulate our vision for the moorland and have a plan based on a long term perspective.
  • Clearly identify our proposed way forward based around the key issues, the provision of eco system services and funded by a mix of grant and non grant funding streams.
  • Invest in communication particularly with politicians and local communities to ensure goals are shared and owned by more then just ourselves.

2) Role of the Voluntary Sector in Delivery

PP needs to establish clear communication channels with the voluntary sector to enable early participation in scoping programme projects, clearer understanding of voluntary sector resources available and easier exchange of ideas across sector.

  • PP offers part of their web site for voluntary groups to share information on what are the South Pennine and PP priorities;
  • PP acts as portal to voluntary sector data bases in partnership bodies;
  • PP considers how best to engage with the voluntary sector at earlier stage of project planning.

The group also encouraged PP to adopt higher profile through Local Authority newsletters, advertising and public transport and in local businesses.

3) Renewable Energy

  • Need to establish a sound evidence base around need and the potential offered by all alternative technologies.
  • Need to move away from reactive appraisal approach to a comprehensive planning approach that embraces all alternatives including water.
  • The group considered that aggregating LA targets at a SP level could be useful.

4) Marketing the South Pennines

  • Identify the product, particularly niche around sustainable tourism, which might help engagement with three DMS’s.
  • Identify the market. Huge scope regarding day visitors from 7m catchment, but also need to develop overnight stays.
  • Develop the brand round landscape and heritage but with sustainability theme.

In identifying the above the groups stressed the need for joint support from 3 DMS’s and other interested parties; the need for more targeted information for the visitor through publicity such as the South Pennine Visitor.

5) Sustainable Travel

  • Lobby Government for more investment and profile for green travel whether nationally, regionally or locally.
  • Help sharing of information and raising profile of the issues through conference and seminars to win more hearts and minds.
  • Demonstrate excellence through programmes such as the Heritage Festival.

The group stressed the importance of the cross boundary dimension of Pennine Prospects, the importance of integrated planning across public and private sectors, to produce more user friendly network and joined up cycle routes across the area.

After the feedback session Nancy Stedman, Pennine Prospects, gave a presentation on the HLF Landscape Partnerships programme.

Conference Feedback

Feedback following the event has been very positive and encouraging:

“On behalf of my colleague and I, we wish to say huge thank you for all the work that was put into the Pennine Prospects Conference on Friday we both found it most informative

First let me thank you for a very useful and well run Pennine Prospects Conference.

Many thanks to all the organisers for Friday’s conference. Having never been to the Square Chapel I was surprised to have to find my way through a building site. The presence of the builders must have hampered things a bit although once inside the building one was hardly aware of them. I always find that the supporting jobs such as refreshments are very important to the smooth running of events. The team of volunteers plus whoever was responsible for the catering did an excellent job.

I found the day informative and thought provoking so it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.”

Resources Available To Download

Pam Warhurst’s Speech (MS Word)

Pennine Prospects Conference Introduction (MS Powerpoint)

Peter Roberts’ Presentation (MS Powerpoint)

Malcolm Brown’s Presentation (MS Powerpoint)

Other Website Articles

You can read further coverage of the event at on the Grough website.

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