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NAAONB Conference report by Howard Davies


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At the close of the conference, Howard Davies, CEO NAAONB reported on the conference, debate and conculstions.

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NAAONB Conference report by Howard Davies

  1. 1. The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural BeautyNational Issues – Local SolutionsConference Report<br />Howard Davies<br />
  2. 2. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, it is said, but I have always felt that because people are as much a part of the whole system of life as every other living thing and because beauty is to be found in the fabric of all that we are, the truth is the other way around. Our ability to see beauty in Nature is entirely consequential on our being a part of Nature Herself.”<br />“…I believe it is this deep connection with our landscape which encourages so many people to escape the relentless uniformity of so much of urban life and visit these iconic locations. “<br />HRH Prince Charles, speaking at the NAAONB Conference, Cornwall, 2011<br />
  3. 3. Cllr Julian German, Cornwall Council <br /><ul><li>High economic and socio-economic value of the local landscape in terms of tourism
  4. 4. High value in terms of the suite of ecosystem services they provide
  5. 5. Cornwall may suffer from economic deprivation but has the highest level of volunteering
  6. 6. The relationship between language, passion and place – the way we communicate a landscape tells us more about our relationship with place than anything else</li></li></ul><li>Malcolm Bell – Visit Cornwall, <br /><ul><li>[Tourism is] at it's best is the sustainable and sensitive economic "exploitation" of our natural, cultural and built assets
  7. 7. [The importance of] precious times in special places with special people
  8. 8. Look after the assets, attract those that will appreciate those assets and involve local communities - currently 80% of tourism to Cornwall is down to the quality of the environment, the landscape</li></li></ul><li>Shaun Spiers - CPRE, <br /><ul><li>Government started out with good intentions. These are still there – make sure they don’t get lost
  9. 9. Government has allowed far too much say to the treasury and department for business, innovation and skills – it’s a potential environmental disaster
  10. 10. Its not too late for Government to think again, but if it pushes ahead it will look back on the rumpus over the forests with nostalgia.
  11. 11. Red Tape Challenge – 1st September</li></li></ul><li>Kevin Lavery, Cornwall Council <br /><ul><li>Now is not the time to panic – its time for clear vision and strong leadership
  12. 12. Environment is one of the top 4 priorities for Cornwall – it is not cutting spending in these areas
  13. 13. Cornwall Council is investing in the infrastructure of which the environment is a significant part</li></li></ul><li>Peter Jefferson, Cornwall Rural Community Council<br /><ul><li>When community planning of any sort the timing is essential. Don’t let a crisis precipitate the local community’s thinking. Passion will distort the current issues.
  14. 14. If there is an assumption that development is the right thing then proactive community plans are essential. Its for AONBs to engage with them and embed their objectives within them. Ignore them at your peril.
  15. 15. Landscape is difficult to communicate – use all the networks you have available to ensure as many people as possible engage with and inform your plan. If it comes to a local referendum you will need their vote.</li></li></ul><li>David Meneer – Fifteen Cornwall<br /><ul><li>The fundamental role of advertising and marketing
  16. 16. The power of free thinking and self belief
  17. 17. The richness of experience gained by changing direction and bringing valuable past experience to new situations </li></li></ul><li>Key messages from Tuesday<br /><ul><li>It is possible to very effectively move from an agricultural and mineral based economy to an environment based economy
  18. 18. The AONB landscape is a significant local social and economic asset that is viewed as business capital
  19. 19. Landscape is an important part of the local infrastructure and investment in it pays off
  20. 20. We have a role as proactive planners but timing is everything
  21. 21. We need local solutions but we also need a national framework from which to generate them
  22. 22. Local solutions demand local support – we have to communicate ‘landscape’ effectively to all networks.
  23. 23. Think freely, act on instinct – times change</li></li></ul><li>Reflections on the field trips<br />“I loved the black and white turkey”<br />“yet another Diviani moment”<br />“delighted to see Erica vagens”<br />“I was sick, but it was worth it”<br />“inspirational businesses, really working for the environment…and making money!”<br />“Wonderful, it was wonderful”<br />“so wet, even the men had wet girly pants”<br />“Matt Roberts lost points for the execution of his piked triple salco” <br />
  24. 24. Workshops<br />Engaging young people – how can AONB partnerships ensure budget cuts do not impact on valuable ‘outreach’ work?<br /><ul><li>Find out what young people want
  25. 25. Use your education department within your LAs wisely – they can help
  26. 26. Identify key partners with which to work – can’t do it all ourselves
  27. 27. Use innovative and multiple communication channels</li></li></ul><li>Workshops<br />Building support at the community level – what is the role of AONB partnerships in driving forward the new ‘localism’ agenda?<br /><ul><li>Help local communities to gather the evidence they need to inform local plan development
  28. 28. Need to share experiences nationally – need a cohesive approach
  29. 29. Need to capture good practice
  30. 30. Use your initiative</li></li></ul><li>Workshops<br />Enabling business to work for landscape – How can the AONB Family ensure that the current economic ‘push for growth ‘ also boosts the sustainable management of our special places?<br /><ul><li>We can’t have a one size fits all approach across the AONB Family – we work at different scales
  31. 31. Honest broker role working as the link between business and the environment
  32. 32. Build and enhance the sense of place and authenticity
  33. 33. AONBs are open for business – its an asset not a barrier to enterprise
  34. 34. Its about people, localism is about people in a local landscape
  35. 35. Each AONB should identify 3 top business opportunities over the next year</li></li></ul><li>Morgan Parry – The Countryside Council for Wales<br />Different politics across borders and its translation into environmental policy<br /><ul><li>Many great established success stories, which includes the AONBs. Good continuity
  36. 36. Changes to the wider environment, how it is valued, particularly in light of delivering ecosystem services, will ultimately impact on how we want our AONBs to function.
  37. 37. AONBs and National Parks must be a significant component of any ecosystem services approach.
  38. 38. Environmental policies may start to follow political trajectories.</li></li></ul><li>Poul Christensen – Natural England<br /><ul><li>The importance of local stakeholders, connecting people to their place, their buying in to what is required, and delivery on the ground
  39. 39. Reflected on our relationship – it has stretched over many years. NE firmly committed to our protected landscapes but tell us (NE) what we can do to help?
  40. 40. Relationships are fundamental to what we do, and this is about people, not processes and systems
  41. 41. Referred to the Natural Environment White paper and its fundamental importance to what we will be doing, but recognised that we need to harness more innovative ways to fund the sustainable use of the natural environment.</li></li></ul><li>Manda Brookman, CoaST<br /><ul><li>We have some really big challenges ahead – we must get the words right - ecology, economy and prosperity
  42. 42. Small businesses are value driven as are you
  43. 43. There are ‘positive deviants’ all around – we need to network and go viral
  44. 44. Identify the ‘bell cows’, the champions, the trojan mice.</li></li></ul><li>Key messages from Thursday<br /><ul><li>Things are different across our borders but in England and Wales but there is a common link to the delivery of environmental services. What is the role for ‘protected landscapes’ in this approach? Not completely resolved. Politics is taking us in different directions.
  45. 45. Very few businesses that deliver as cost effectively as AONB partnerships – you have been doing Big Society for 50 years.
  46. 46. We have new opportunities, opportunities to look at things in a new way. You are centre stage.
  47. 47. We have a challenge ahead of us and we mustn’t duck out of it
  48. 48. We must continue to communicate and inspire – you are working with not only an economic resource but the very thing that supports us and gives us all our identity. We lose this at our peril.</li>