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Uplands Centre Conference

06/06/2006 08:26:12

The International Centre for the Uplands – Cumbria held its annual conference, entitled Sustainable Uplands: Future Scenarios for People, Environment and Landscape, from May 30 to June 1 in Kendal.

The three-day programme attracted delegates from a broad range of sectors and interest groups. It also brought Cumbrian agencies and researchers together with national decision-makers and academics.

The International Centre for the Uplands - managed by Lancaster University - is involved in a wide range of partnerships and funded by Rural Regeneration Cumbria, Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Authority.

As well as a number of presentations on current policy and research, the conference programme incorporated several field visits, including a trip to Helvellyn to meet with a farming family and see the implications of CAP reform and agri-environment schemes on an upland farm.

The Centre’s Director, Ian Soane said: “The programme was designed to update people on current policies and then to develop scenarios and options for viable, successful and sustainable futures for our upland landscapes and communities

“The speakers did a great job of bringing delegates up to date on recent research and policy and provided a firm basis for our exploration of different scenarios for the future on days two and three.”

On the third day of the conference, delegates received over 40 different research papers and presentations from a wide range of experts which sparked lively debate about the impact of future policies and practices.

Ian Soane and his team at the International Centre of the Uplands now have the task of disseminating the key elements of the discussions and sharing them with the broader upland community.

He said: “Our Centre seems to have a valuable future role in developing these scenarios, ideas and options and becoming the hub for an ongoing Upland Futures Forum in the coming months and years.”

• The International Centre for the Uplands was established in 2004 and employs a small team of researchers, each member with a particular research interest or specialism. It seeks to encourage new research, spread existing findings beyond the academic community and involve local communities in issues that affect their environment.

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