A Birmingham Professor who created a pioneering vision for a West Midlands National Park has been handed a prestigious new role on the Natural England Landscape Advisory Panel.
Kathryn Moore, Professor of Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University, has been formally announced as a member of the new Panel which met for the first time today (Thursday 27 January).
The Natural England Landscape Advisory Panel aims to boost access to, and the impact of, England’s landscapes and has appointed key experienced figures to help drive its plans to celebrate the country’s areas of natural beauty.
Professor Moore is recognised for her work transforming the West Midlands region into a new kind of National Park which has gained backing and support from local and national political leaders.
The West Midlands National Park Lab is reimagining the area and understanding the opportunities that exist to connect public health with economic growth, environmental development and solving societal issues.
It encourages people to take advantage of their areas to develop green and blue spaces, ring parks, conservation areas, long distance footpaths and new cycles routes.
Speaking about the announcement Professor Moore said: “The landscape is one of the defining features of England, recognised across the globe and has taken on increasing importance for people during the periods of lockdown.
“It is an honour to be appointed to the Panel alongside a group of such talented and experienced professionals, who will help bolster the case for further growth and development of our landscapes and heritage.
The importance of England’s landscapes and natural beauty spots has been highlighted by the impact of lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many across the country spending more time outdoors.
Professor Moore’s appointment to the Panel will continue the focus on protecting, developing and enhancing landscapes in urban areas, which received positive support from the government’s response to the independent Landscape’s Review published earlier this year.
Before drawing up her vision for the West Midlands National Park, Professor Moore had served as a key advisor on a number of projects including being appointed to the HS2 Independent Design Panel in 2015 to advocate for landscape to form a key consideration for the project.