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Summer Leys, Nathalie Hueber

We are setting up a new Community Panel for Summer Leys and Mary’s Lake.

We believe that local people have a unique insight into their area, and the green spaces and sites that they use. We want to harness this insight and knowledge by creating a Panel that will play a key role in discussions about the future management of Summer Leys and Mary’s Lake. We think this is particularly powerful when local people work alongside those who work in the countryside professions, When their knowledge is combined there is a lot of scope for creative thinking about the issues that the site presents.

This is an approach that we want to use at sites across the Nature Improvement Area. We have already tested this idea and the Northampton Washlands Panel worked effectively to produce a draft action plan and set of recommendations for the site.

The key task of the Panel is to consider the uses and pressures at Summer Leys and the best ways forward for access at Mary’s Lake, taking into account all of the uses, plus conservation and recreation issues and pressures.

There will be about 18-20 people in total on the Panel. Members of the public who have an interest in or use Summer Leys and Mary’s Lake will be in the majority, chosen on a first-come, first served basis, providing that the full range of users are represented. Representatives from both Natural England and RSPB will also be members.

A series of four Panel meetings will be held on evenings between September and the end of the year, each one run by an independent facilitator. The meetings will designed in a way that gives everyone an opportunity to take part and give their views on what is being discussed. They will not be in the style of very formal, sitting around a table meetings with a Chair person.

If you would like to join the Panel, or have any questions, please contact one of the following:

Helen Bovey (facilitator) on helen@icarus.uk.net       OR

River Nene Regional Park on 01604 367648.

You can join the discussion online through our discussion page.

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