Australian politician visits Peak District to talk natural resources

Australian state legislator Rick Colless, centre, visited the Peak District National Park to learn about partnership working between local organisations during a Commonwealth study tour of the UK.
Australian state legislator Rick Colless, centre, visited the Peak District National Park to learn about partnership working between local organisations during a Commonwealth study tour of the UK.

An Australian legislator was impressed by the work of the Peak District National Park and its partners when he visited on a fact-finding trip.

Rick Colless, a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, took part in a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association study tour last week, which included a guided walk through the park.

He said: “The classic British weather certainly lived up to its reputation, but it was thrilling to experience the magnificent view from Curbar Edge, alongside so many passionate people working hard for Britain’s very first national park.”

Rick serves as his state’s Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources, responsible for significantly larger areas of land, and he was keen to learn about how the park environment was managed and compare techniques.

The walk was joined by representatives working across large parts of the upland Dark Peak, on projects related to the wildlife, visitor access and landscape.

They included members of the Peak District National Park Authority, Moors for the Future Partnership, the National Trust and RSPB Eastern Moors Partnership and Discover England’s National Parks Programme.

Rick said: “I was particularly impressed by the astonishing variety of partners from so many different organisations and walks of life who come together in the Peak District to manage areas for nature, so close to the doorstep of major cities, and so unlike anything we have back in Australia.”

Peak District chief executive Sarah Fowler said: “We were delighted to meet Rick, to introduce him to our stunning countryside and to share best practices in caring for our most precious landscapes across the world.”