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Commonwealth tour sees minister from Down Under share Peak District National Park experiences

Wednesday 18 April 2018

The Hon Rick Colless visits Curbar Edge with Peak District National Park senior managers and partnersAustralian minister, the Hon Rick Colless, learned about partnership working in the Peak District National Park during a study tour of the UK.

Mr Colless, a Member of the Legislature Council in the New South Wales Government, met senior managers from the Peak District National Park Authority, Moors for the Future Partnership, the National Trust and RSPB Eastern Moors Partnership and Discover England’s National Parks Programme.

Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler led a walk to Curbar Edge, where Mr Colless discovered more about local management and conservation processes.

The tour group represented a range of projects working across large parts of the upland Dark Peak, with benefits for wildlife, visitor access and landscape. At home in significantly larger areas of land, Mr Colless was surprised that technology such as helicopters are also being used on major land restoration projects in the Peak District.

Mr Colless said: “The classic British weather certainly lived up to its reputation, but it was thrilling to experience the magnificent view from Curbar Edge, alongside so many passionate people working hard for Britain’s very first National Park.

“I was particularly impressed by the astonishing variety of partners from so many different organisations and walks of life who come together in the Peak District to manage areas for nature, so close to the doorstep of major cities, and so unlike anything we have back in Australia.

“The contrast in landscape scales may be all too apparent, and yet that makes the challenge for the Peak District all the more compelling.”

Sydney-based Mr Colless, who serves as Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources and Western New South Wales, visited the Peak District as part of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association study tour.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park, said: “We were delighted to meet the Hon Rick Colless, to introduce him to our stunning countryside and to share best practices in caring for our most precious landscapes across the world.”

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