This session was part two of three LNP conference online sessions and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions to a selection of LNP Board Members. Participants were able to submit questions prior to the online event. Guest Rob Yorke provided a keynote speech and chaired the question time.

Rob Yorke is an environmental commentator, broadcaster and rural chartered surveyor. He has lived in the wilder parts of the UK (west Scotland, Northumberland, Shepherds Bush, west Wales and now the Black Mountains) worked for the National Trust on countryside stewardship and farm effluent schemes and now wears two hats. One as an independent commentator who has interviewed Michael Gove, George Monbiot, Minette Batters, Ben Goldsmith, published 123 letters in The Times, brokers rural dialogue via his “Countryside Critical” consultancy, and flies by the twitter name @blackgull. His other hat is as a specialist land agent advising, for over 25 years, on laying public water/sewer mains across south east England. “Anything and everything is about people” he says: more at

The Panel:

Lord Robin Teverson

Robin is Chair of the LNP. He is a former MEP representing Cornwall, the Scillies and Plymouth back in the 1990s, having a previous career in the freight industry. A member of the House of Lords since 2006 where he focuses on energy, climate change, and fisheries. He chairs the Lords EU Environment sub-committee. He was a board member of the Marine Management Organisation between 2013 and 2019. Robin lives near Tregony.

Oliver Baines

Oliver has been a social and environmental activist all his adult life. His partner and her brother own a 250-acre organic sheep and beef farm, where he works as a volunteer. He’s a member of Extinction Rebellion. He sees the twin crises of climate breakdown and ecological collapse as the greatest challenge civilization has ever faced.

He is also a father, a grandfather, a beekeeper, a vegetable grower, a political activist, a bird lover, a cook. Much of his career has been in campaigning to retain services and facilities in rural Cornwall. It has also been in finding ways of supporting those most isolated, impoverished or least able to fend for themselves in our communities. He has served as chief executive of the Cornwall Rural Community Charity. More recently he has served as chief executive of the Cornwall Community Foundation. He was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to rural communities.

Carolyn Cadman

Carolyn Cadman is deputy Chair of the LNP and the Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their company, Cornwall Environmental Consultants. Carolyn has previously worked in national roles for the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England, before joining Cornwall Council in 2015.

Carolyn’s team manage over 55 nature reserves across Cornwall, work with 1400 volunteers each year, host the accredited Local Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall an the Isles of Scilly. The team also deliver a range of marine and land-based conservation projects in partnership, including advice to landowners, farmers, fishermen and other business to take wildlife friendly decisions, advocating low carbon and nature- based solutions to the challenges Cornwall faces. More info at

Helen Dobby

Helen is the Environment Agency’s Area Director for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Helen leads a team of around 350 staff in the area who work with national colleagues and partners to protect and improve the environment. Helen has worked in the public sector for more than 25 years, developing and leading delivery in environmental services for local government in Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire and Devon, before joining the Environment Agency in 2019.

Through local delivery and working with others Helen and the team:

• Help communities and wildlife to adapt to climate change.

• Work to reduce the impacts of climate change, including flooding, drought, sea level rise and coastal erosion.

• Improve the quality of our water, land and air by tackling pollution.

• Work with businesses to help them comply with environmental regulations. Helen is keen to develop partnership working that builds a healthy and diverse environment, enhances our communities and contributes to economic growth. Helen is a strong advocate for rural issues and having grown up in North Cornwall now enjoys family life in the Tamar Valley. Her aim has always been to help create environmentally strong and thriving communities which we would all like to live in and contribute to.

Wesley Smyth

Wesley Smyth is the Area Manager for Natural England’s Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Team and has been involved in all aspects of Natural England’s work in Cornwall and the IoS. Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone. Our remit is to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive. It is our responsibility to see that England’s rich natural environment can adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy. Natural England’s ambition is not just to improve nature, but to see it thriving everywhere. This is because we recognise that a healthy natural environment is fundamental to everyone’s wealth, health and happiness. Wesley has had a lifelong interest in wildlife with a breadth of experience of working with land managers and communities on the stewardship of our natural heritage.

Questions included:

  1. Future opportunities aside, what more can we be doing locally to improve enforcement now?
  2. How can we ensure that the importance of nature recovery isn’t drowned out by the focus on our economic recovery and the drive to ‘build back better’?
  3. Does the panel have any concerns about Government’s new planning proposals?
  4. How can we all grow attention on the ecological emergency as much as the climate emergency, and better explain their links?
  5. How can we be more strategic and prioritise our focus across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly?
  6. How should we prioritise tree planting locations to protect areas such as improved meadows, and what factors should influence plantation decisions other than just carbon sequestration – such as using shelterbelts for tackling soil erosion?
  7. How can we encourage more long-term or permanent land-use changes?
  8. Land aside, what does the panel think are the best opportunities for marine areas?
  9. Does the panel have any concerns about farmers holding out for ELMS, and what can we do locally to drive and support participation in existing agri-environment schemes?
  10. How can we better engage a wider range of farmers and landholders beyond those already involved in agri-environment schemes (including higher tier opportunities) and build their confidence to engage?
  11. How does the panel think that ELMS could learn from the experience, and improve upon, countryside stewardship?
  12. How can we better share case studies of a broader range of sustainable farming practices, including  regenerative or organic approaches?
  13. What opportunities are there for more green bridges locally?
  14. How can we be better supporting our communities, local councils, and voluntary sector to support nature recovery – and to support with ongoing maintenance?
  15. What does the panel think counts as ‘good access’ to nature, and how can we ensure that it is as sustainable and climate-friendly as possible?
  16. What additional can we do locally to provide protections for Cornish hedges?
  17. How can we better engage and communicate nature recovery to the general public, and can local leaders do more to role model personal behaviours that draw the connection to nature recovery?
  18. What more can the LNP do to engage/communicate with the general public in Cornwall so they better understand, and want to do more for, nature?
  19. How can the LNP support Landowners to restore ecosystems?
  20. How do we balance economic drivers with environmental imperatives (e.g. triple bottom line accounting?)


You can watch the full webinar here: