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Wild Ennerdale

What an amazing day. As part of the Associatiion of National Parks Associations (ANPA) conference that I'm attending with colleauges from the Countryside Council for Wales, we spent the day visiting Wild Ennerdale - a low, key, inspirational project to experiment in a different way of managing landscape, and moving away from hundreds of hectares of Sitka Spruce to a more diverse, resilient and richer landscape. We walked into Ennerdale from Buttermere, chased by shafts of sunlight moving across the hills, and met our ranger hosts for half a day of enchantment and education. One of the most striking things about the project was the way that traditional targets, measures, project plans and protracted meeting have been replaced by a philosphy akin to deep ecology that is very different and very powerful. I couldn't help wonder what the impact would be if planners and those in economic development used the same approach - emergence rather than formal structure, with decisions based on feedback from previous actions rather than elaborate plans. It's a special place to visit and has two Youth Hostels. Go. Spend time there.

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