We were asked to help three communities of the Hodder Valley in the Forest of Bowland to agree a development plan. We quickly ascertained that there was a need for better communication between land managing organisations (Forestry Commission, United Utilities, Duchy of Lancaster and RSPB) and local people and that this was constraining progress.
We developed a programme of consultation between the land managers and communities which facilitated mutual understanding and helped to formulate a development plan which was owned by all parties. This took some time and perseverance by all sides but has resulted in the current delivery of an effective plan to benefit all partners.
Kielder Water & Forest Park comprises the largest man-made forest (600+ kms2) and the largest man-made lake (11+ kms2) in northern Europe. At the same time, it is a working forest (producing 25% of England’s timber), its habitats and species are protected under UK and European legislation and it is enjoyed by visitors, who come to take part in a range of activities.
Research shows that visitors see Kielder Water & Forest Park (KWFP) as a place to enjoy wildlife and the outdoors. Members of the Kielder Partnership commissioned this study to explore the opportunity of creating a step change in the provision of wildlife events and activities, and in the number of people enjoying them, whilst ensuring the long-term sustainability of the wildlife resources.