Awards 2020 Winner’s Spotlight: Best Practice Stakeholder Engagement

Keyn Glas Environmental Designated Funds (EDF)

Highways England, Arup, Cornwall County Council & Cornwall Wildlife Trust

This award was sponsored by

Highway England’s Keyn Glas* Environmental Designated Funds are an initiative designed to go beyond business as usual, working with local people to enhance the Cornish landscape, to benefit communities, wildlife and the environment.

The scheme offers 17 projects to deliver multifunctional benefits, spread across approximately 50km² of Cornwall’s varied landscape. Each project identifies and delivers environmental benefits, but it is together that these projects offer benefits beyond the sum of their parts; contributing to the enhancement and restoration of habitats and landscapes, reducing risk of climate change impacts, and improving cultural and recreational opportunities. This is helping to ensure a long-lasting legacy and guardianship of the environment in Cornwall.

Stakeholder engagement was specifically tailored from the outset to facilitate maximum inclusion and involvement for each individual project, with explicit consideration of the local cultural context, including: workshops with local Parish Councils to gain understanding of local issues and to enable responsive and appropriate design solutions; and community workshop evenings to initiate conversations directly with the farming community to present a palette of locally appropriate green and blue infrastructure interventions, including their benefits to and impacts on farming. These workshops were well attended and very positive, often stimulating conversations between farmers about integrated and co-ordinated stewardship of the environment.

Farm Liaison Officers from CWT were commissioned to conduct landowner engagement. This local farming knowledge enabled design development to ensure landowners requirements were met and understood, while guaranteeing the delivery of the project’s environmental objectives.

An online digital platform was developed specifically for the project, enabling work, documents and calendar sharing and storage between the stakeholders to allow for a smooth flow of information and knowledge sharing.

Landowner participation is voluntary and the design approach is underpinned by collaboration. The 17 individual projects have been developed in partnership with a Steering Group (SG) and 13 key stakeholders. As a result of a number of community events and face-to-face design meetings held, over 64 landowners/ tenants have elected to participate. Monthly Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) brought the stakeholders together to allow for transparent access to and timely feedback on evolving designs and to coordinate stakeholder’s interests. These focused on technical aspects and designs.

Projects are modular, with landowners able to choose to be a part of the design of Cornwall’s future landscape. Engagement with the communities and stakeholders is fundamental. Project designs were circulated in advance of TWGs to allow stakeholders to hold focused discussions and contribute to the collaborative design process. Approval Workshops were programmed, with the purpose of producing a formal and transparent Collective Design Mandate; providing an effective collaborative environment and an opportunity for consensus-driven review and approval.

The project concept and feasibility were developed by Arup in partnership with Cornwall County Council (CCC) and Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) in 2017- 2018. In December 2018, Arup was commissioned to progress the projects through detailed design. The projects will be delivered in a phased way from 2019 through until 2025.

* meaning ‘Green Ridge’ in Cornish.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting further information on each of the 2020 CIEEM Awards Winners over on our blog. A full recording of the event is now available to watch online. Further details on each project/individual is set out in our 2020 CIEEM Awards Booklet.