Experts from some of the UK’s leading environmental and landscape organisations will take part in a major conference hosted in North Yorkshire this September.
‘Landscape Matters’ is hosted by the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, and will present key learnings from their ground-breaking four year Heritage Lottery funded project.
The conference, and findings from across the four years, promise national significance for the future of landscape conservation.
Louise Brown, Scheme Manager at the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, said: “We’ve successfully worked with the local community, farmers, land managers and a wide range of organisations – from conservation to archaeology – to explore practical ways to safeguard and celebrate our landscape, heritage, wildlife and rural economy. It’s vital to use this learning for the future of our countryside and to ensure we protect it for generations to come.”
Speakers include the Commissioner for the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Professor David Hill CBE, who is also Chairman of Plantlife. The Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and Humber, David Renwick, will also present alongside Ken Smith, Chair of the Council for British Archaeology.
The four-year Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership comes to a close this year. Its objectives were to engage people to get involved in key strands: Historic Nidderdale, Discovery and Learning, Training and Skills, Wildlife and Farming, and resources for visitors.
A range of projects have been completed from engaging local artists, working with farmers to increase biodiversity, archaeological digs, and conserving flagship heritage sites, such as the Prosperous Lead Mine.
Louise said: “It’s been a hugely successful showing how people can positively make an impact on our rural landscapes. Whether it’s finding a space for wildlife or wildflowers, or conserving old buildings, there’s a real hunger for this work. It’s a bridge to the past which people really value, and importantly offers a road map for the future to ensure our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty continues to flourish.”
As well as supporting those who live and work in the landscape, the partnership worked to champion the rural sectors through education, arts and training in skills such as masonry or dry stone walling.
Louise added: “The learnings have national import. Losing young people from farming and land management is one of the biggest risks to its future. The work we have done shows how local communities can work with organisations to benefit the countryside. We hope it will be a legacy that will continue and live on for a long time.”
Alongside keynote speakers, the conference will include guided walks and tours of key landscape and heritage sites in Upper Nidderdale, alongside a celebration for volunteers.
The Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, end of scheme conference takes place on Thursday 13 September, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.
For the full programme of events, and to book, visit http://uppernidderdale.org.uk/about-us/conference-2018 Please note places are free but limited, so booking is essential.