Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Upland Stakeholders Forum and the Upland Outcomes Approach

I attended the meeting of the Upland Stakeholder Forum (USF) in London, last week. 

The remit of this cross-sector group is to consider upland issues in England, and after some updates, the focus of the meeting was on the Outcomes Approach that is being rolled out by Natural England (NE).  

This initiative was the subject of the five workshops that I ran for NE in different parts of the English Uplands in March, this year, and the Summary Report that I produced for NE is available to download. I also reported on these workshops in the Trust’s Annual Report, this year.

What is the Outcomes Approach?  In simple terms, it involves Natural England working more closely with stakeholders to achieve an agreed, shared vision for land, including the uplands. Flexibility is part of the concept so that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will be avoided. 

For this Approach to achieve its potential it needs to be adopted fully by NE and all stakeholders. During the meeting, the Moorland Association confirmed that the Approach has been promoted to its members and NE outlined how they have been working to introduce the concept to its staff; they recognise that it will require a bit of a culture shift. 

I am a great supporter of this initiative, which I think offers benefits for NE, stakeholders and above all, the English uplands. In my view, it is long overdue, and I am keen to support the roll out of the Approach. I would like to see more demonstration events being held, as part of the promotion process, as I believe that the ‘talk & walk’ style of event is a powerful way to communicate with NE stakeholders and staff  alike.

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