South Pennines project scoops national award and is now set to represent the UK in European finals.

The Watershed Landscape project, managed by Pennine Prospects, has beaten the competition to win the UK Landscape Awards. It will now go forward to compete in the European Landscape Awards 2013. The three year project has played a key role in protecting and enhancing the natural and historic features of the South Pennines and encouraging people to get involved with their landscape, through improved physical access and exciting activities and events, including an innovative arts programme.

“Everyone here is absolutely thrilled to have the South Pennines Watershed Landscape project representing the UK in the European finals,” said Pam Warhurst, chair of Pennine Prospects. “This just goes to show how beneficial a partnership organisation, such as Pennine Prospects, can be for the landscape, which is so important for, not only the people who live in it, but also millions of people who live within a short distance.

“This wild and wonderful landscape offers us all opportunities to connect with our ancestors and enjoy the health and well-being benefits for today but also prepare for the future as the peat resources here are the front line in our battle against climate change.

“We’d like to thank all our partners, who have worked with us to make this possible. The wide range of activities and events that we’ve organised as part of this project has helped to raise awareness on a number of different levels, from improving access to the uplands to getting people to think differently about their landscape.”

Working closely with United Utilities and Oldham Council, the project is funding improvements to footpaths in the borough around Denshaw and Castleshaw, improvements to the visitor car park at Castleshaw as well as the creation of an exciting Upland Discovery Room above Brownhills Visitor Centre.

Throughout the South Pennines the Watershed Landscape project has ensured the completion of over 100 hectares of wildflower restoration, there have been over 50 training days held with over 350 people attending, nearly two kilometres of dry stone walls improved, 50 funded events with partner organisations held, seven exhibitions organised in museums, galleries and a shop window and the creation of 2.5 hectares of new upland oak woodlands, among many other projects in the last three years.

The award winning Watershed Landscape project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the South Pennines Leader programme, (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects. The project has recently been voted the runner up in the National Lottery Awards, beating hundreds of projects from around the country to make it to the final to be televised live on Saturday, December 8.



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