The rich natural capital of the South Pennines will be the focus of the annual Pennine Prospects conference next month.

Anyone interested in exploring ways in which the rich natural assets of this upland area can provide economic, social and environmental benefits is invited to the rural regeneration company’s free annual conference. The conference, Natural Capital: making the most of the South Pennines, will be held at Marsden Mechanics Hall, on Friday, October 19 from 9.30am to 4pm.

The South Pennines Local Nature Partnership (LNP), part of a network of partnerships working to improve the range of benefits from a natural healthy environment, will be launched at the conference. As leaders of this new partnership Pennine Prospects is keen to hear from anyone with ideas on how to shape it.

“The focus of our partnership is on the uplands of the South Pennines and making sure that the natural assets of the area are used to maximum environmental, economic and social benefit,” explained Mark Turner, director of Pennine Prospects. “We’d like to invite everyone to share their views on what they’d like a local nature partnership to be in this area.”

In addition the conference will have an array of excellent speakers, including the key note address by Tim Rollinson, the director general of the Forestry Commission, and Jim Burt, of Natural England. Andy Tordoff, of Defra, will be introducing the concept of using natural environmental assets for economic benefit and Dr Lois Mansfield, of the University of Cumbria, will bring an upland focus to the event.

After enjoying a lunch of distinctive locally sourced produce delegates will have the opportunity to explore the South Pennines through site visits to Standedge Canal Tunnel or the National Trust Marsden Moor Estate. For those more interested in discussing economic developments a workshop will be held on the benefits to business of emphasising the local and distinctive qualities of the South Pennines and a further workshop will be held to discuss the potential future of the South Pennines Local Nature Partnership.

Participation at the conference is free but places must be booked in advance by emailing Ann Atkins at, telephoning 01274 433536 or completing the form available from the Pennine Prospects website at The conference is supported by the Watershed Landscape project and the South Pennines LEADER programme, (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.



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