Seminars and Visits

Latest Events

Walk, Talk and See – Study site visit

26th October 2023
Kirkconnell Flow NNR, Dumfries – Lowland raised bog restoration

Kirkconnell Flow National Nature Reserve is a great example of a lowland raised bog that is on the road to recovery as a healthy peatland. It sits on the banks of the Nith estuary just a few miles from Dumfries, and is owned and managed by NatureScot.Work to restore this previously afforested site has been going on since 2001, when the trees were removed and the main ditch blocked. In the last few years major restoration work, funded by NatureScot Peatland ACTION, has helped to significantly raise the water table and bring back the carpets of sphagnum and cotton grass that make this peatland so beautiful in summer – as well as helping tackle climate change. More work is planned for the coming autumn/winter, which may have started in time for the Europarc site visit.

Peatland ACTION is inviting Europarc members to join them for an opportunity to visit Kirkconnell Flow in the company of Reserve Manager Suzanne McIntyre, and members of the Peatland ACTION team. The day will include an introduction to the site and Peatland ACTION at the NatureScot office in Dumfries, followed by a 2.5-3hr visit to the site itself, and an opportunity for further information and questions back at Dumfries.

The NatureScot Dumfries office is just 5 minutes’ walk from Dumfries Station, and transport to Kirkconnell Flow NNR can be provided for anyone arriving without a vehicle.

You can find more information about Peatland ACTION at

There will be a limited number of places

Previous Events

In May 2020 EAI had planned an annual member’s event at the Sil in Northumberland NP. The event was themed around Climate change and was intended to be a mixture of talks, discussions, site visit and include an early consultation session on the Europarc Federation strategy. Due to the uncertainty of 2021, we have decided to do an interactive members event online.

The event will run an over a 2-week period from 5th to 16th July 2021 and we have  tried to identify the key issues that many protected areas are facing and chosen four themes:

  • Climate change
  • Future Farming
  • Nature Recovery
  • Post COVID-19era and access to protected landscapes

Each theme has its own page, and you can find the programme, discussion forum, films  booking link to presentations and discussions, and you can upload your own films about your work related to the themes in your protected area.

All the more formal events will be recorded and uploaded so even if you miss an event you can watch later and share with others.

Further info here

 Coastal Site Visits

Durham Heritage Coast  2nd October  2019

Lead officer – Niall Benson, Durham Heritage Coast Officer
An opportunity to get out of the office, visit great coastal sites and meet and share experience with other EAI members. Each day will start with a short meeting, followed by a tour to look at issues and projects that are being undertaken

Main themes – history, legacy issues and opportunities, management challenges, Beach Care, HLF SeaScapes project, inshore management, democratic deficit.
The Durham Heritage Coast is a great example of how different organisations have worked together to transform an industrial landscape into a nationally recognised Heritage Coast landscape, providing a range of cultural, natural, and geological places of interest, stunning coastal views and beaches and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Heritage Coast partnership has recently been successful in securing the first HLF marine Landscape Partnership funding which will help to deliver 30 projects set to benefit our coastal heritage, the marine environment and local communities. Through the 30 projects, the Seascapes scheme will improve access to beaches, explore the shipwrecks and habitats beneath the waves, improve biological recording through citizen science, construct a coastal conservation centre, tackle marine litter and create opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy being on and in the sea.

Refreshments, lunch and minibus transport provided.

Start and finish at Durham railway station / Seaham, depending on delegates mode of transport.

Places are limited please contact Anita Prosser if you wish to participate in the event.

Dorset AONB     25th June 2019

Moors at Arne, Dorset AONB site visit on 25 June A group of 15 people assembled at Dorset Council offices in Wareham for a site visit arranged by Tim Venes, Chair of EAI’s Coastal and Marine Group, and coordinated locally by Tom Munro, Dorset AONB Manager. Neil Watson (Environment Agency), Dante Munns (RSPB) and Ian Alexander (Natural England) gave an initial introduction to the site and led the party on the visit. Arne Moors is an area of coastal grazing marsh on the edge of Poole Harbour that is increasingly under threat of flooding as sea levels rise. The visit, attended by participants from local authorities, CPRE, the National Trust, Natural England, Bournemouth University and the Dorset National Park Team heard about and discussed proposals for a managed realignment scheme to set back the sea bank and return the site to a mosaic of intertidal habitats, with an emphasis on wildlife but also public access opportunities. The consensus of those involved was that the day was both enjoyable and interesting, with discussion ranging well beyond the immediate site to issues such as the future of farming. If you are interested in hosting a site visit to showcase a project and providing a similar opportunity for sharing of ideas and experience, please get in touch!

Members Day Seminar – The Bell Inn, Charlbury in the Cotswolds AONB 8th May 2019

Bringing new life to protected Areasinvolving and empowering of young people in protected areas. The event will look at how different protected areas in the UK and other parts of Europe, engage young people in the life and workings of protected areas and have used the Europarc Youth Manifesto as a source of ideas and inspiration. Speakers will look at what are young people’s ideas and needs, how a board has adopted the manifesto, setting up a youth council and how other European protected areas are working with young people.


New Ways of Funding Protected areas

In the present financial climate all those involved in protected areas are having to look at new ways of funding their activities and developments.  This Europarc Atlantic Isles (EAI) event explored how we can work together and with new partners to find new income sources. The event  challenged our thinking about generating income.The event also looked at how we can continue to work and share learning and experiences with the wider Europarc family and continue active involvement in the Europarc Federation prior to the federations General Assembly and elections

Presentations were made by:

Professor Lynn Crowe

Andrew Denton CEO of Outdoor Industries Association

Mark Holroyd – Board member of National Parks Partnership

In the afternoon Anita Prosser preseneted the work of Europarc Atlantic Isles and the Federation

Notes from the meeting will follow soon

Previous seminars

Our previous training seminar was’The Uses of Apps and New Media in Protected Landscapes

The day started with Karen Griffiths from the Yorkshire Dales National Park presenting an exciting overview of the park’s work in developing smartphone apps.

This was followed by a lively presentation from Anneleen Mengels in the Hoge Kempen Nationaal Park in Belgium examining the subject of digital payback.

Jan Wildefeld from EUROPARC Deutschland demonstrated superbly how web technology is being used to interest children in the work of protected areas and park rangers. The first part of his presentation can be found here.

Sarah West of the Stockholm Environment Institute, York, gave an inspiring outline of many tools in the field of citizen science relevant to conservation.

These presentations were followed up in workshops enabling participants to explore possibilities in greater depth:

Richard Hammond of Greentraveller gave insights into the use of video and social media to promote sustainable tourism in protected landscapes. (Link to be added)

Dan Boys of Audiotrails led a group through the steps of producing a smartphone app in the field of heritage interpretation. You can also test your apps knowledge with Dan’s smartphone quiz.

David Aanensen of Imperial College, London demonstrated the uses of EpiCollect as a model for data gathering in biodiversity and other fields. (Link to be added)

Protect and Prosper – Optimising the economic benefits of designated landscapes’, held in Oxford on 10 February 2011.

  • Seminar Report can be accessed here.

The presentations of the four keynote speakers can also be downloaded:

Managing Landscapes: more outcomes, less outputs?, Edinburgh, 3-4 November 2009

Seminar report


Naturally Better – how protected landscapes can help deliver health and wellbeing outcomes, Wallingford, 26 March 2009

Seminar report


Presentations available:

Charlie Foster (Senior Researcher, University of Oxford), Green Space, physical activity and public health

Claus Jespersen (Director of Regional Office, Danish Forest and Nature Agency), Nature as an attractive sector for the preventative health sector.

Thomas Classen (Bielefeld School of Public Health), Nature conservation and preventative health protection in Germany – a strong partnership?


Beyond Boundaries – protected areas, cities and the European Landscape Convention, London, 26-27 January 2009

Seminar report


Making sustainable tourism a foundation of the rural economy, Belfast, 23-24 October 2008

Seminar report


Protected Areas in the 21st Century – what does the future hold? Cardiff, 27-28 March 2008

Seminar report


Community Engagement and Protected Areas: what works, and what you need to do, Newcastle, 1-2 November 2007

Presentations available on request.


Climate Change and Protected Areas, Kings College, Cambridge, March 2007

Click here for the summary.


Renewable energy in protected areas with a European perspective, Bath, 31 January – 1 February 2006

Seminar report