South Pennines Watershed Landscape project scoops prestigious Landscape Institute award

Posted: 1.12.14

Members of the Watershed Landscape project team are delighted with their success at the Landscape Institute Awards. Taking the top accolade in the Communications and Presentation category, this three year project has proved yet again its outstanding achievements, both in the delivery of a landscape-scale programme and its ability to communicate, with many different sections of the South Pennines community and beyond.

Pam Warhurst, Chair of Pennine Prospects, the rural regeneration company responsible for the management of the project, explained that this result was all down to strong teamwork. “The partnerships we have developed across the South Pennines are continuously working together to protect, enhance and promote the key features of this distinctive region, which we hope will continue to provide a healthy and thriving landscape for today’s society and for future generations.”

The Watershed Landscape focussed on the uplands of the South Pennines between Leeds and Manchester, where Lancashire and Yorkshire meet. The Watershed Landscape project, a Heritage Lottery funded landscape partnership programme, ran from 2010 to 2013. During that time £2.8 million was invested in the landscape, which is nationally and internationally significant for its biodiversity and historic features. Overall the project received a grant of £1.87 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as funding through South Pennines LEADER and from project partners.

Robin Gray, Pennine Prospects development manager, received the award on behalf of the whole Watershed Landscape team, at an awards ceremony in London last week. It had been among 34 British and international landscape projects, from Hong Kong to Canada, battling it out in 16 categories.

Noel Farrer, President of the Landscape Institute, said: “This year’s winners are outstanding examples of landscape architecture. In addition to exceptionally designed schemes, projects range from a communications strategy, waking people up to the role landscape can play in their lives, to a dissertation about ethical design.”

Through a number of projects based on science, archaeology and creative arts, designed to re-engage members of the community with their environment, the Watershed Landscape project has been able to communicate the importance of the landscape to a wide range of diverse groups, from school children to elderly residents. It is this successful communication that caught the attention of the judges.

The project included work with apprentices, volunteers and experts from other partnership organisations, to restore footpaths, dry stone walls and natural habitats, for endangered species as well as future generations. Meanwhile, it has helped people become reacquainted with their landscape through art, with artists in residence conducting workshops in schools, community centres and on the moors. It has also brought dedicated volunteers together to record the condition of the prehistoric stone carvings on Ilkley Moor through the Carved Stones Investigation project.

Funding for the Watershed Landscape project came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the South Pennines LEADER programme (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects.

The Watershed Landscape project has already been awarded a Laureate in the Europa Nostra Awards 2013 and has also won the prestigious UK Landscape Award 2012.

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