Friday, 7 March 2014

Upland Guidance Events for Natural England

These events have been postponed.

We had been asked by Natural England to set up four events in March & April to 'user test' the draft upland guidance coming out of the Upland Evidence Review.  The events would also have considered the recent Moorland Infrastructure Guidance and also the work that has been developing a Better Outcomes approach within Natural England.

As a result of the uncertainties surrounding the guidance, particularly in relation to burning and restoration (see the earlier post), a decision was taken to postpone the events to allow more time for the guidance to be developed fully, so that the detailed Practitioner Guidance can be included in the scope of the events.

The events had been planned at Whitfield, Northumberland; Spaunton, North York Moors; Moscar, Peak District; and Dartmoor Forest.  I am grateful to those who kindly agreed to host these events and I am sorry that it was not possible to complete the process.

I maintain that the type of 'talk & walk' events organised for a diverse range of delegates are incredibly valuable and that we should do more of them.  This style of event provides an opportunity for people to hear and gain an understanding of the views of other people, and gets all of us out of the silos of our normal thinking.  The added attraction of taking everyone out onto an area of hill, fell or moorland is a further, valuable feature that mixes people up and places the discussion in context; these areas look different when removed from PowerPoint.

With our independent, UK-wide overview, the Trust is uniquely placed to run these events well.  I will continue to advocate that we are missing opportunities by not getting people together in this way more often.