The future of the Ouse Washes Landscape goes under the microscope at cathedral debate
PUBLISHED: 12:16 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:16 02 March 2017
The future of the Ouse Washes Landscape was on the agenda as hundreds of people from across East Cambridgeshire came together at Ely Cathedral last month.
The event, organised by the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP), saw a panel of local experts gather to debate the theme of ‘Developing a Resilient Future for the Ouse Washes Landscape’ on February 21.
Led by Dr Humphrey Crick, chairman of the Cambridge Conservation Forum, members of the panel represented the sectors of agriculture, business and communities, conservation and water management. They responded to questions concerning current and future issues affecting the Ouse Washes Landscape.
Dr Crick said: “I was encouraged to see the commitment of the local people to ensuring the Ouse Washes Landscape is protected for future generations. As our panellists explained in their presentations before the debate commenced, this part of the Fens has an important role to play for a number of different land uses.
“It is essential that we all work together to secure a resilient future for the Ouse Washes and mitigate the potential impact of climate change on this region.”
Live polls held on the night revealed that 40 per cent of guests felt that farmers and landowners can make the biggest contribution to securing a resilient future for the Ouse Washes Landscape, while 36 per cent chose water and flood management organisations.
This event was held to mark the culmination of a three-year project grant aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
It is hoped the panel discussion helped to raise awareness of the issues facing the Ouse Washes Landscape, as well as paving the way for future partnership work to support sustainable practices and communities within the context of a changing climate.
The OWLP were assisted on the night by student volunteers from Franklin House, Ely College, who helped with the filming of the debate, collecting questions from the audience and serving canapés to guests.
Mark Nokkert, programme manager of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, said: “The students were a great help to us and I’d like to extend my thanks to them and their tutor Lynn Anderson for their maturity and hard work on the night of the event.
“We displayed some fantastic artwork from Ely College students which was enjoyed by all our guests.”