How was the Blueprint for the Culm developed?
The Blueprint was developed through a collaborative process involving residents, community organisations, businesses and statutory authorities so that it could be informed by those affected by its activities and outcomes, and secure their support.
We began in June 2020 by gathering evidence, discussing ideas and consulting organisations and individuals across the catchment, to build up a picture of how the River Culm is performing, consult on our vision and develop our Action Plan. We initially established several Working Groups and organised a series of Catchment Adaptation Workshops to explore the different themes of the project. Throughout, we have taken an inclusive approach to involve local people in the process.
Next, we developed a vision statement that captures the future we want to create. This is:
The River Culm will be celebrated as a lifeline that connects people with each other and with nature. Land across the catchment will be managed to protect and enhance the River, whilst sustaining people’s livelihoods. Throughout the seasons and as the climate changes, the River Culm will have space to flow naturally and safely. The water will run clear, wildlife will flourish, and people will easily access and enjoy all of these benefits.
In 2021 we developed the key actions needed to realise this vision. We shared these at our Forum on 17 November 2021 – you can watch the recording here and you can read more about the Action Plan themes and priority actions here.
Next we developed “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) targets that we are using to drive and monitor these actions, working with agencies and funders to see how these align with their own priorities. We shared these at our Forum in November 2022.