One of the main functions of the Blueprint for the Culm is to coordinate work in the catchment so that people and organisations focus their efforts sensibly.  By sharing plans and integrating resources, we can have a much greater impact – and we can make sure that by combining and aligning our efforts, we can achieve better results

A major step on the journey towards this goal was realised back in September when we held a Policy-Mapping Workshop with a host of organisations and agencies that are tasked with developing and implementing policies and investment plans for the River Culm catchment.  In ordinary times we would have held this workshop in person (and used up a lot of post-it notes in the process!) – but thanks to the pandemic we were forced online and found a useful tool to help us run a virtual workshop.  The tool is Mural and it allows people at the workshop to write their suggestions and comments direct onto a shared flipchart.  The image below shows what a rich and intense session it was (NB, we have left this as a low-res image as some input was confidential).

Blueprint for the Culm Policy and Strategy Mapping Workshop - an image of a mind map

As well as the workshop, we held 1:1 in-depth interviews with partners and have built up a solid framework now that will guide the development of the Blueprint. It means we can target which plans we need to influence, and when – and which parts of existing plans we need to build into the Blueprint. It’s a 2-way process but, as a long-term (at least 25-year) plan, the Blueprint will be a major part of the landscape for a generation to come.

We’ll be using Mural and a range of other online tools at our forthcoming Forum Launch event (18 November). This kickstarts the Blueprint process and invites everyone with an interest in the Culm to take part and help shape the future of this fascinating river.