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Your Tees Catchment Partnership Inaugural Forum

19th March 2014 in News

A half-day conference took place in Darlington on Tuesday 18th March to launch the Your Tees Catchment Partnership. Organised by the Tees Rivers Trust and Groundwork North East, the event was attended by a range of organisations who took part in discussions to help shape the Catchment Based Approach to river management in the Tees Catchment.

 The Partnership aims to implement the Catchment Based Approach to managing water throughout the Tees.The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) policy framework was adopted by Defra on 3rd June 2013 to improve the water environment through catchment-level engagement, planning and delivery. The aim is to balance environmental, economic and social demands and align funding and actions within river catchments to bring about long-term improvements. Funding of £9k was made available to 108 catchments in England and The Tees Trust along with Groundwork North East successfully bid to co-host the lead for the Tees Catchment.

The Your Tees Catchment Partnership aims to  provide a catchment-focussed hub for sharing best practice; identifying complementary activities that may share resources and avoid duplication of effort (eg between the 3 Local Nature Partnerships, Local Authorities etc);  act as a dissemination point for catchment matters and identify and act on opportunities for partnership funding bids.

 For more information contact:

 Anne- Louise Orange, Groundwork North East [email protected]

 Ben Lamb, River Tees Trust [email protected]

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Saltholme – celebrating five years of success

17th March 2014 in News

Since opening Saltholme has won a number of awards that celebrate its distinctive nature. Three that stand out are our top rating on Trip Adviser, the Gold in the 2010 Northeast tourism awards and winning the 2012 National Lottery Awards education category.  Other highlights include;

  • Over 400,000 visitors have come to Saltholme surpassing our predictions for the first five years
  • More than 13,500 schoolchildren have been enthralled by their lessons in the ways of the natural world.
  • New habitats and improved existing ones, which have resulted in the fledging of over 1000 common tern chicks over the five breeding seasons; the return of otters, water voles, water shrews and harvest mice; the increase in numbers of wintering birds for which the site is internationally important including 2500 wigeon and 1000 curlew.

Read the report here Stakeholder brief


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Hartlepool Borough Council adopts Green Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Document

17th March 2014 in News

On the 27th February 2014 t Hartlepool Borough Council adopted the Green Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and Action Plan. These documents form part of the Local Development Framework and will be used in the determination of planning applications and also to ensure that the Borough’s green spaces are not only protected but enhanced for the benefit of all. Where planning contributions are secured towards green infrastructure as part of a planning application the SPD and Action Plan will be used to direct the contribution to the most appropriate scheme in relation to the application.The Action Plan will be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect when schemes are implemented and where new proposals and schemes come to light.

The Green Infrastructure SPD and Action Plan was subject of two consultation periods during 2013/4.  The Tees Valley Nature Partnership  took part in the consultation. 

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Nature’s capital published by Natural Capital Committee

17th March 2014 in News

The latest State of Natural Capital report, published by the UK’s Natural Capital Committee on the 11  March 2014 says that too often the environment is taken for granted, and called for a 25-year-long natural capital plan so that Britain can enjoy the “economic and wellbeing benefits”. It highlights natural capital as an important player in the UK’s economy and society and calls for the government to invest in it. Chair of the committee, the economist Dieter Helm, wrote in the report, “Integrating the environment into the economy is hampered by the almost complete absence of proper accounting for natural assets. What is not measured is usually ignored. The committee is leading the way in developing the metrics and risk registers, identifying the necessary capital maintenance, and ensuring that project and investment appraisals in both the public and private sectors properly take natural capital into account.”

The report contains three key messages:

  • Some natural assets are currently not being used sustainably. The benefits we derive from them are at risk, which has significant economic implications;
  • There are substantial economic benefits to be gained from maintaining and improving natural assets. The benefits will be maximised if their full value is incorporated into decision-making; and,
  • A long-term plan is necessary to maintain and improve natural capital, thereby delivering wellbeing and economic growth.

The full report will be published at

 Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape at The Wildlife Trusts wrote this blog in response.

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River Tees Rediscovered website launched

8th November 2013 in News

Link here to explore the  website of the River Tees Redicovered website that has just been launched. The Vison of the partnership is to reconnect the people of the Tees with their river through telling the engaging story of the River Tees as a natural feature that has moulded the physical and cultural development of the landscape and communities through which it runs.

The website which will grow as the partnership develop has details about the projects planned with information on how to get involved,


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Activity Plan Consultant

12th June 2013 in News


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Invitation to tender: Activity Plan Consultant

Tees Valley WILD Green Places

The Tees Valley Nature Partnership has been successful in receiving a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the “Tees Valley WILD Green Spaces Project” that is being managed by the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.

Activity plan tender advert

Activity plan  TVNP Wild project


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Wynyard Woodland Park is the subject of a Green Infrastructure Case Study by Natural England.

3rd June 2013 in News

Wynyard Woodland Park is the subject of a Green Infrastructure Case Study by Natural England.  The report demonstrates how Wynyard Woodland Park shows how green infrastructure can be used to effectively manage increased demand for green space in urban areas. It is an innovative example of how to turn the journey to the park itself into part of the outdoor recreation experience, while not only protecting but enhancing biodiversity through habitat creation for Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species.

 Key data

  •  More than 50 percent of visitors to the park say that they go there to exercise
  •  At Pickard’s Meadow, 10 ha of lowland meadow has been created contributing 100 percent to the local BAP target for lowland meadow creation and 20 percent of the regional target
  • Revenue taken at the park’s visitor shop has increased from £11,800 in 2009/10 to £22,600 in 2010/11

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Tees Valley – a pilot area for Ecosystem Services Interaction Research Project

28th May 2013 in News

The Tees Valley is one of two pilot areas for the development of an environmental decision making tool based on ecosystem service interactions. The Defra funded initiative is led by  Dr Piran White of York University and explores the management and policy implications of the interactions between habitats in their delivery of ecosystem services.

The project is working on the production of a map-based decision-support tool which will demonstrate these interactions and the effects of management interventions on the delivery of ecosystem services. It will also include economic valuation and legislative data to help create a more comprehensive tool. They are focusing on three systems – agriculture, freshwater (rivers and wetlands), and urban areas – which have been identified as priority landscapes in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UKNEA), either in terms of their status or the lack of understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem service relations within them, or both.

The tool is being initially developed in the context of the Humberhead Levels Nature Improvement Area and is being designed so that it is transferable to other localities in the United Kingdom.   The TVNP are working with Piran to assist in the development of a locally-specific version of the tool for the Tees Valley, our ‘test’ area, and use it to assess the implications of alternative future scenarios for the delivery of multiple ecosystem benefits in this area.
Piran and his research team visited the Tees Valley on 22 May for a whistle stop tour of the varied landscapes and ecosystems  of the Tees Valley with Sue Antrobus and Anne Louise Orange of the Tees Valley Nature Partnership.    It is envisaged that the research will provide valuable tool for the Partnership and in particular for the River Tees Rediscovered landscape project which is currently being developed as a round two Landscape Partnership, led by Groundwork North East.
Link to the York University Ecosystem Interactions project web page.

Also the the ‘Ecosystem Service Mapping Gateway’, is now live. This has been developed by the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BESS) Directorate and brings together information on the growing number of projects concerned with mapping ecosystem service delivery at the landscape level. Click to access the Ecosystem Service Mapping Gateway

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Tees Valley Wild Green Spaces project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

19th April 2013 in News

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The Tees Valley Nature Partnership has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Tees Valley Wild Green Spaces project, it was announced today. The project will work to increase the wildlife of public open spaces across the Tees Valley and provide opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in learning about their local wildlife and how to care for it.

Development funding of £11,200 has also been awarded to help The Tees Valley Local Nature Partnership progress their plans with partners to apply for a full grant of £480,000 in 2014.

The new initiative will involve a wide range of community and youth groups in making small scale sustainable wildlife conservation projects on a wide selection of public green spaces throughout the Tees Valley through volunteer programmes of practical biodiversity recording and practical conservation work. Also planned are a wealth of opportunities for people to enjoy, learn and care for their local biodiversity through programmes of walks, family fun days, wildlife surveys, and conservation taster events.

The project will increase the natural environment skills base in the Tees Valley through local volunteers and young people gaining training in biodiversity identification and recording and nature conservation management of green spaces. Young people will gain practical work based experience that will enable them to gain nationally recognised qualifications.

Further information

TV Wild Green Places update April 2013

Information on the project contact Susan Antrobus, TVNP Development Manger, [email protected]

Information on the Heritage Lottery Fund

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Report from LNP Ministerial event 2013

5th April 2013 in News

An event for chairs of Local Nature Partnerships was held in London on 13 February.2013.   The aim of the event was to enable LNPs to share best practice, discuss implementation issues and celebrate success. The event was opened with a presentation by Chris de Grouchy, Deputy Director EU and UK Biodiversity Policy Delivery. He outlined mechanisms of support for LNPs to assist them in engaging with partners. This was followed by an open discussion forum and presentations on Future European Funding, Health and Wellbeing Boards , then parallel sessions on LNPs and strategic planning and the Government’s response to the Independent Forestry Panel Review.

 Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs arrived and gave an outline of LNPs, who made the following points:

  • LNPs have a major role in delivering the NEWP ( Natural Environment White Paper)
  • They are part of a new approach for managing the environment in a strategic and integrated way
  • Improving the environment is one of Defra’s four priorities set out by the Secretary of State
  • The support and engagement from LNPs is vital for delivering Lawton e.g. local determined NIAs
  • The Town and Country Planning Regulations have been amended to give LNPs the same consultative role as the LEPs in strategic cross boundary planning
  • We particularly want to encourage growth in the rural economy and it is vital that we integrate growth and the environment.  LNPs could play an important role in this locally. This was followed by short presentations by three  LNPs, after which the Minister welcomed questions from the floor.

A summary of the event and presentations can be downloaded here.

LNP Min Event 11 Feb 2013 Defra meeting notes

Presentations 2013 Ministeral event