Deliberative Workshop in Northumberland

A successful two-day event was held at Moss Peteral, a working farm in Northumberland, in May to discuss what is important to land managers in the landscapes they manage and possibilities for peatland restoration.

They were hosted by Northumberland Peat Partnership, supported by members of the WaterLANDSUK team – Professor Julia Martin-Ortega, academic lead and Dr Joshua Cohen, engagement lead, to help start conversations with different types of land managers and understand their roles better.

The first workshop explored land manager’s ways of valuing their lands, and ways they might characterise their relationship with them. Some of the most popular responses included seeing themselves as protectors of environments, feeling part of a community, abundance of bird life, having pride in their landscape and livestock, and legacy – such as the ability to pass on land in a better state than they themselves inherited it.

In the second workshop participants were asked to discuss potential benefits and challenges of peatland restoration such as income generated for the farm and concerns about long-term follow up and support from funding bodies.

A successful outcome was one of the land managers offered to host a follow-up workshop on their land, and to invite neighbours and others to take part.

Pictured below: Julia and Josh.

The workshops went very well with 100 percent of participants from the first event returning to the second. People had a lot to say and participants were keen to share their contact details with each other to stay in touch. Julia

“It felt like this was the start of an ongoing relationship. It was great to have an opportunity for these discussions about key issues. I felt there was a development in mutual understanding. Josh