Annual Conference 2012 Report

The rich natural capital of the South Pennines was the focus of the annual Pennine Prospects conference on Friday 19th October in Marsden. Natural Capital: Making the Most of the South Pennines, explored ways in which the rich natural assets of this upland area provide economic, social and environmental benefits. Over 100 delegates gathered for a day featuring presentations, workshops and site visits as well as the first public viewing of a new map highlighting the unique characteristics of the South Pennines.

Tim Rollinson, Director General of the Forestry Commission, provided the day’s keynote address which focused on how natural assets can benefit people in economic as well as emotional terms, a concept that we are only now beginning to appreciate and harness.

Tim’s presentation can be downloaded here (242KB PDF).

Natural England’s Jim Burt presented the results of the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE), the most comprehensive dataset available on people’s use and enjoyment of the natural environment. Jim called on delegates to be “fearless” in their efforts to engage urban communities in the South Pennines landscape.

His presentation can be downloaded here (328KB PDF).

Meanwhile, Andy Tordoff from DEFRA drew inspiration from a number of sources including Walt Disney and Sir John Harvey Jones and identified a series of “definitive assets”, from an economic point-of-view within the South Pennines, which are valued by local people and attractive to visitors.

Andy’s presentation is available to downloaded here (146KB PDF).

The conference featured the public launch of the South Pennines Local Nature Partnership (LNP), one of 48 partnerships across England aimed at bringing people together to manage the local environment sustainably for the benefit of the economy and personal wellbeing. For more information about the network of LNPs follow this link.

A presentation about the South Pennines LNP can be downloaded here (1.3MB PDF).

The chair of Pennine Prospects, Pam Warhurst CBE, brought the thoughts of the speakers together and called for delegates to work together across the South Pennines landscape for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area. The “future is in our hands” was her closing challenge to those present.

The second part of the day featured a workshop looking at how businesses can make the most of the South Pennines’ local distinctiveness. This theme forms part of a wider project managed by Pennine Prospects. Delegates also had the opportunity to explore the Natural Capital of the South Pennines through site visits organised by the Canal & River Trust, to Standedge Tunnel, and the National Trust, to the Marsden Moor estate.