11th December 2023

We were delighted to welcome over 100 partners and colleagues to join the conversation at the Colne Valley Park Annual Forum at Brunel University London on Monday 11th December.

We would like to thank our expert speakers Tim Hill from Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Rose Lewis from the Soil Association, Jerry Unsworth Planning Consultant, Debbie Valman from Groundwork South and Stewart Pomeroy from Colne Valley Park Trust.

We heard about a new study highlighting the proven national importance of the Colne Valley for waterbirds, the remarkable work at Woodoaks Farm, which is swiftly becoming one of the jewels in the crown within the Colne Valley Regional Park. We also had updates on new funding streams, progress on current programmes and how we can work in partnership to step up to the challenges faced by the Colne Valley Regional Park and its neighbours.

Colne Valley Regional Park launched a new campaign ‘Your Countryside in Crisis – a call for action!’ at the Forum. The campaign is based up on the need for a five point plan to ensure a sustainable future for the countryside of the inner green belt:

  • Influence Local Planning
  • Restore the Landscape
  • Reform National Planning
  • Establish Status
  • Protect Nature

Lord Randall of Uxbridge, President of the Colne Valley Park, said:

“The Colne Valley Regional Park faces an existential threat for it its very survival due to intense development pressure. We must act now protect the vital role that the Colne Valley Regional Park can play for society and the environment, where the countryside meets the city.”

Stewart Pomeroy, Managing Agent of the Colne Valley Park said:

“The Colne Valley is a Regional Park with National significance. We seek to engage politicians and decision makers to act now to create a specific new status and protection for the Colne Valley Regional Park, to ensure this special landscape is safeguarded and its considerable potential realised for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

Please see below for presentations from the speakers at the Forum.

1. Tim Hill, Herts Middlesex Wildlife Trust: A Regional Park with National Significance

2.  Rose Lewis, Soil Association Promoting diversity & collaboration within Colne Valley Regional Park

3. Debbie Valman Groundwork South: Colne Valley Landscape First

4. The Planning Story and our new campaign

Further details on the new campaign and the 5-point plan can be found here.

A project proposal for our next funding bid as discussed by Debbie Valman can be downloaded here.

Huge thanks to our partners at Brunel University London who hosted this event.

If you missed the forum you can watch a video record of it here.

If you missed the forum, you can watch it here: