Growing the Green Recovery

Saturday 13th March 10.30-1.15pm on Zoom

At our last conference ‘Making the Most of the Green Recovery’ we heard presentations and discussed ideas around ‘building back better’.  This next conference took this one step further by putting these and others into practice.

We had a great line-up of speakers and topics including the work of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Food Futures in Lancaster, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s ‘Together for Trees’ project and Cumbria Action for Sustainability’s ‘Zero Carbon Cumbria’ Project.

Conference recording (over 4 videos)

Introduction and speaker #1 Neil Heseltine (Chair of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)

Anna Clayton – Food Futures Lancaster

Carol Douglas – Woodland Development Officer for Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust 


John Forbes – Zero Carbon Cumbria Project Manager for Cumbria Action for Sustainability

Speaker bios

Neil Heseltine – Chair of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Neil Heseltine is a fourth generation farmer and was educated at Ermysteds Grammar School,Skipton and Seale Hayne Agricultural College. He spent time travelling and working on farms in New Zealand and Scotland before returning to Hill Top Farm, Malham, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park where he was born and brought up. He now farms Hill Top with his partner Leigh and they have a young daughter, Violet. The farm comprises 1100 acres; the majority of which is in Countryside Stewardship and this includes land rented from the National Trust. In 2003, as part of a conservation grazing scheme he introduced 20 Belted Galloway cattle to the farm. This proved to be a defining time for Neil in terms of ethos and mind-set, as he sought more sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. He has recently been closely involved with the National Trust in a trial payments by results scheme and was awarded the National Trust’s “Farming with Nature” award in 2019.

Neil was a member of the National Park England [NPE] Future of farming post Brexit task finish group in 2016/17 who helped prepare the document ‘Farming in the English National Parks’ which enables NPE to make proposals to DEFRA on the future of farming in the English National Parks and he recently gave evidence to the NorthYorkshire Rural Commission..

A keen rugby player and cricketer, he is a member of Malham Parish Council and is a former chairman of the Malham Show. Neil was appointed Chair of the Authority in June 2020 having served as Deputy Chair since June 2019.

Anna Clayton/Melanie Fryer – Food Futures (Lancaster)

FoodFutures – North Lancashire’s award-winning Sustainable Food Network.

We are working to build a collaborative community of practitioners, food citizens, policy makers and researchers that work on food matters in the local area.The network’s actions are shaped by the partnership and active members of the working groups. Citizens bring their ideas, knowledge and expertise to tackle food-related problems that impact all of us locally and nationally.

The current working groups are Food and the Environment, Food poverty alliance, Food Economy and Procurement, Community Food Skills, Food and Health.

Each year we organise the Northern Real Farming Conference and Lancaster Health Festival.

FoodFutures is currently developing a 10 year local food strategy for sustainable food work in North Lancashire.

Carol Douglas – Woodland Development Officer for Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust 

Carol has been involved in the Environmental sector for over 30 years working for several different organisations including the National Trust, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and Friends of the Lake District.  She has enjoyed working for the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust for the past 4 years and her role as Woodland Development Officer includes overseeing the Woodland Grant Programme and providing opportunities for people to get involved in woodland activities.

John Forbes – Zero Carbon Cumbria Project Manager for Cumbria Action for Sustainability

By the people, for the people – an introduction to the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership programme

John has worked in the environmental sector for more than 20 years, giving advice and support to householders, community groups, businesses and other organisations on energy efficiency, renewables, water, waste and sustainable transport. Many of these activities have involved working in partnership with community groups, local government, environmental organisations and other stakeholders. John joined the team at CAfS in late 2020 as the Zero Carbon Cumbria Project Manager and has been really impressed by the ambition, community involvement and strength of the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. He is much looking forward to working with the community and all the partners in the project.

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