Achieving Consensus

Consulting, engaging and responding to communities are key aspects of our work from project planning, such as in preparing audience development plans, through project delivery and in project evaluations.

We have been involved in fifteen schemes on Cumbrian commons intended to achieve biodiversity gains by reducing grazing and/or planting woodland. These can assist with climate change mitigation and resource protection, but can be seen as having detrimental effects on access and landscape, requiring fencing that can be contentious. Our role was to negotiate consensus between potentially conflicting interests of Natural England, Friends of the Lake District, Local Access Forums, LDNPA, Open Spaces Society, landowners, commoners who farm the land and local communities, before submitting applications to the Planning Inspectorate for consent. Our involvement in so many schemes means we gained a thorough understanding of the issues and a good relationship with all of the consultees.