Wider value of the natural environment will be explored in Hebden Bridge this month.

Posted: 25.01.13

Pennine Prospects, the rural regeneration company for the South Pennines, is holding a workshop, Profiles in Practice, on Tuesday, January 29, between 10am and 2pm at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. Participation in the workshop is free, and includes lunch, but booking through Pennines Prospects is essential.

The workshop will be supported by Natural England as part of the organisation’s work to update and improve the profiles for 159 National Character Areas (NCA). Each NCA is defined as a unique combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity and cultural and economic activities and follows natural lines in the landscape, rather than administrative boundaries. Natural England is revising all the NCA profiles to ensure information is available to a wider audience. The South Pennines NCA profile was the first to be revised during the summer last year.

Featured at the workshop will be the South Pennines Watershed Landscape project, managed by Pennine Prospects, which has recently scooped the prestigious UK Landscape Award and will now go forward to represent the UK in the European Landscape Awards 2013.

Pam Warhurst, Chair of Pennine Prospects, looks forward to welcoming people to the workshop. “Here at Pennine Prospects we strive to link people with their landscape, identifying the best ways of managing the area’s ecosystem for the benefit of everyone and in the process ensuring a more sustainable future. This workshop will give us an opportunity to show how the NCA profiles can be delivered in practice through the work of initiatives on the ground, such as the Watershed Landscape project.”

During the day participants will be able to find out how the Watershed Landscape project was influenced by national policy, explained project manager, Robin Gray: “The profiles describe the distinctive landscape character of each area and include a wealth of information along with an assessment of the benefits and services that these landscapes provide for people, wildlife and the economy.
“The multi-stranded Watershed Landscape project was based on the special qualities of the South Pennines upland landscape and Natural England’s NCA profile played a part in developing the strategic approach.”

Speakers on the 29th include Val Kirby, Chair of the Independent Judging Panel of the UK Landscape Awards and a landscape architect and town planner with extensive experience in landscape policy and strategy within the UK and across Europe; Nancy Stedman, senior advisor for Natural England; and Robin Gray, Watershed Landscape project manager. The day will include a piece of innovative performance inspired by and featuring how residents feel about the landscape by local arts organisation Whitestone Arts.

The three year Watershed Landscape project plays a key role in protecting and enhancing the natural and historic features of the South Pennines and encouraging people to get involved with their landscape, through improved physical access and exciting activities and events, including an innovative arts programme.

The award winning Watershed Landscape project is supported by 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 project has also recently been voted the runner up in the environment category of the National Lottery Awards, beating hundreds of projects from around the country to make it to the televised final broadcast last December.

For further information about the event or to book a place please email Robin Gray or call on 01422 847 612 or 07582 101319, or book online through the Watershed Landscape website project website at

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