Community engagement enabled by Ketso contributed to a successful bid in 2017 by the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership for their flagship Carbon Landscape Project, a £3.2 million regional initiative to deliver significant restoration and improvements to a network of 50+ nature reserves.
The Carbon Landscape Project brings together the expertise of 14 partners, led by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Carbon Landscape boasts a huge variety of habitats, from lowland raised bogs, to wet meadow and woodland, and this project is delivering significant landscape restoration and access improvements.
The Greater Manchester Wetlands Partnership needed to build collaborative working amongst partners ranging from local authorities to volunteer groups in order to create a successful bid. They needed each potential partner to look at the whole landscape, and see how their local site fits in with the bigger picture.
They needed a tool that would encourage positive and productive connections and that would help them develop solutions, in an area that is often seen as neglected and scarred by its industrial past. They also wanted a tool that looked professional, to give the workshops legitimacy, as these were important topics being raised and consulted on. Ketso helped them to work together across political and geographical boundaries.
Ketso was used in numerous workshops to generate feedback from partners, volunteers and community groups. This helped them to see their connection to the heritage of the area, and how the work they do in their local patch fits in with the broader landscape. It highlighted the possibility of creating a network of sites for biodiversity and recreation.
Participants felt that the visual stimulus and the active dialogue required in a Ketso workshop helped develop positive, actionable solutions. They liked the physical placement and clustering of the leaves, as well as seeing their Ketso tree develop. Ketso has since been used for staff and partnership meetings, as well as further engagement with communities to develop ideas for their future landscape.
“The understanding of the people was critical in securing the funding for the Carbon Landscape Project. It required not only an ecological perspective; the case needed to be embedded into the social fabric of the whole area, and how the community would use and interact with the site. Ketso helped us to look at that from the perspectives of all stakeholders.”
– Head of Operations, Lancashire Wildlife Trust