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West Midlands National Park Lab

Our ethos

1. prioritising quality of life and quality of the environment– improving access to nature for physical, social or mental well-being.
– improving access to education, social networks and the creation of safe neighbourhoods.
– improving biodiversity, clean air, clean water or social engagement.
– spatial and social justice, identity and self-confidence.
2. seeing the bigger picture by collaborating and crossing boundaries and silos– working beyond ‘red line’ boundaries to understand the bigger picture, spatially and visually.
– working across institutional silos, disciplines or sectors, reflected in aspirations, measurable outcomes, innovative governance and financial models.
– convincing responses to international and regional commitments.
3. strengthening the connection between policy and practice in finance and governance– clear connections between policy and practice, made evident through integrated measures of planning, performance and efficacy.
-demonstrable evidence of an embedded culture, fiscal structure or governance that supports the WMNP ethos.
– demonstrable evidence of collaborative working and governance (shared risks, costs and benefits) attaining more than the sum of the parts.
4. environmentally and culturally productive use and care of all landscape resources-landscape-led approach valuing all aspects of the land as a cultural, social and physical resource.
– conserving the region’s natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
– promoting the understanding and enjoyment of the region’s special qualities by the public.
– provision and implementation of car-free development.
5. use of expertise to re-imagine the landscape– demonstration of high-quality, radical thinking and persuasive ideas to reimagine the landscape to engage local communities in their territories.
– spatial visions, concepts and the expert expression of ideas at all scales.
– design excellence, creativity and artistic sensibility.
6. supporting community pride, confidence and health– increasing a community’s sense of pride and identity with their place.
– improving community engagement and cohesion, especially around aspects of land, access, nature and health.
– using the landscape and nature to engage and support newly-arrived communities.
– collaborative approaches to create socially equitable environments.
7. learning from local and traditional knowledge– recording and disseminating traditional and local knowledge, especially in relation to skills, crafts, expertise and place.
– providing access to high-quality training and employment in local or regional craft or industry.
– (re)engagement with land-based knowledge, e.g. river systems, woodland management, agriculture or metal working.
8. creating environmental and community resilience through landscape-based culture, identity, stewardship and replenishment– contributions that grow the local economy and stimulate high-quality sustainable employment supported by education and training.
– promotion of new and traditional land-based skills in support of urban farming / agriculture, rewilding and a circular economy.
– engaging with young people to support the WMNP ethos.
– transforming existing processes with sustainable technology.
9. engaging all communities in the climate agenda, focused on transformative action– initiatives that are clearly based on a perspective of sustainability, resilience and the need to meet zero carbon targets.
– the use of nature-based solutions to repair contaminated land, water and other aspects of the biosphere (e.g. brownfield development).
– engagement of young people in transformative action to tackle the climate emergency.