Farmers, businesses and communities work together for future of Peak District National Park
This is an archived press release
Monday 21 May 2012
Local farmers, business people, environmentalists and community leaders took a farmland walk by the River Dove (on May 18) to launch a new five-year Peak District National Park Management Plan.
The location, at Lower Hurst Farm near Hartington, was chosen to represent what the plan is aiming for – a flourishing local business that cares as much for its national park setting, wildlife, cultural heritage and educating young people, as it does for its organic beef and lamb.
Farmer Andrew Sebire is one of more than 150 people who have contributed to the new National Park Management Plan 2012-2017, all of whom live or work in the national park or have a strong interest in its success.
In workshops with the Peak District National Park Authority, they formed a “partnership for progress” to hammer out four themes for the future:
- A diverse, working and cherished landscape
- A welcoming and inspiring place
- Thriving and vibrant communities
- An enterprising and sustainable economy.
Each theme has several objectives, including enhancing biodiversity and local heritage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, widening healthy enjoyment of the landscape, profitable and sustainable farming and businesses, and communities who are inspired to shape the place they live in – all of which must be achieved by 2017.
A 15-strong advisory group will meet twice a year to ensure the objectives are on track. Its membership represents the four themes of the management plan, and it will be led for the first time by an independent chair, Dianne Jeffrey.
Dianne is also chair of Age UK, vice-chair of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, former pro-chancellor of the University of Derby, former High Sheriff of Derbyshire and current Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire.
She said: “This is a great opportunity but also a great challenge. The National Park Management Plan is about sustainability – we are the guardians of this beautiful area, with its natural and cultural heritage, for future generations.
“We must be responsible for its future – that’s why I applied for this job and why I was delighted to be asked to do it. I’m used to working in partnerships and delivering challenging objectives, and I’m looking forward to giving something back to the area I live in and love.”
Dianne has lived in Eyam with her businessman husband Nicholas for 30 years, bringing up their four children there.
Other members of the advisory group are: Penny Anderson (Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership), Sue Quinlan (Environment Agency), Anthony Streeten (English Heritage), Karen Devonport (Natural England), David James (Visit Peak District), Edwina Edwards (Local Access Forum), Jon Stewart (National Trust), Les Sturch (Sheffield City Council), Brian Long (Peak Park Parishes Forum), Joe Dugdale (Peak Partners for Rural Action), Ken Hobden (Minerals Industries), Nick Wood (Business Peak District), Robert Helliwell (Farmers and Land Managers Forum), Geoff Nickolds (Peak District National Park Authority).
National Park Authority chair Tony Favell said: “It’s heartening to see so many local businesses, farmers, organisations and individuals working together to achieve what they want out of the Management Plan. Without their enthusiastic help the Park would be much the poorer. They will shape its future, and we want to help as much as we can.”
Local organisations, volunteers, community groups and businesses are encouraged to help by doing conservation work, identifying needs for affordable housing, providing community transport or using environmentally friendly local products, all of which go towards the Management Plan’s objectives.
Full details of the Peak District National Park Management Plan 2012-17 can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/npmp