Over the last few years the Partnership have worked together to identify what makes the Colourful Coast area special, not just in terms of its designations (which recognise national standards of quality) but also what the area means to the people who live, work and visit here. To do this we spent time talking to people joining us at events, talking to our staff, volunteers and partner organisations, talking to people walking their dogs. We’ve asked locals and visitors. The young (lots of mention of ice cream being very important!) and older people too. We’ve considered the long history of the area, the way this has shaped the coastline and town of Whitehaven and village of St Bees. We’ve tried to pin all of this down in words and put together what makes this place unique, cherished and distinctive, what makes it matter and why this means our work is so important, almost a story of the coast itself. This is our Spirit of Place.
Following on from this work we pulled together a set of principles that oversee the work of the partnership and are at the core of everything we do, our Guiding Principles. These set out more formally why the coast is important, how we work, why we want to work in partnership. Alongside this we recognise some of the limitations that working in this area gives us. We cant necessarily overcome these, and sometimes we wouldn’t want to, but it’s important to note that limitations are present and will impact what we can, or would like to achieve.
But, as well as considering the area’s past and how it’s history has shaped the coast we see today it is also vital that we look forwards to the future. So we spent some time pulling together all the knowledge and best practice from our partners and put together a vision for the area. There’s no guarantee that this can be achieved, it’s more of an aspiration, a story of the potential of the area, of what it could be and how it could encompass benefits for people and the environment at the same time. This is our Landscape Vision.