Herdwicks in the lake district

Strategy and Partnerships

Lead the strategic thinking on the National Park’s future, with influence nationally and internationally. Monitor how the Park is performing. Support and develop the unique Lake District National Park Partnership, facilitating breakthroughs in Partnership priorities.

Key areas of work

  • Lead the development of all strategy relating to the National Park, shaping and responding to changing national policy context and market conditions.
  • Facilitating the work of the Lake District National Park Partnership, strengthening partnership delivery to achieve the priorities for the National Park. Pooling resources with partners to deliver transformational projects in the Park.
  • Development of strategic planning policies, maintaining a robust and effective Local Plan
  • Provision of specialist advice to Development Management, the wider Authority, partner organisations, communities and customers.

Current programmes and projects cover the following thematic areas.

  • Improving flood resilience
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services,
  • Sustainable land management,
  • Promoting sustainable food and farming.
  • Managing the Lake District national park’s carbon budget, securing year on year reductions.
  • Actions to protect and promote the cultural, built and the historic special qualities of the National Park, including the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Site inscription.
  • Recreational access and transportation within, and to the Lake District National Park. Encompassing health, education, economic growth and social inclusion.

Meet Louise Martin, Strategy & Partnerships Advisor

What does a typical work day in your role as Strategy and Partnership Advisor-Archaeology like for you?

My typical work day is varied, interesting and busy!  

One of the key components of my role is to help maintain and update the Historic Environment Record (HER). This is a database of all the known sites and monuments across the Lake District National Park. It also records how we know at these sites and monuments and how the data has been collected. The database is continually updated to reflect new discoveries made as part of archaeological investigations or chance discoveries. It provides a comprehensive overview of the historic environment of the national park and is used to inform consultations and planning of development.    

I regularly deal with consultations from internal departments, such as planning, rights of way and park management, and external partners/organisations such as the Forestry Commission, RPA, National Trust and Wildlife Trusts. Though this consultation process I use the Historic Environment Record and my archaeological knowledge to assess whether the proposal may have an impact on archaeological sites, monuments and landscapes. If there is potential for a site to be damaged or destroyed then I provide mitigation advice. This may include considerations to changes in the proposals and/or archaeological monitoring.  

I also help with the organisation and support of activities for the Lake District Archaeology Volunteer Network. A group of 65 dedicated volunteers undertake a range of activities within the park. This includes surveys and excavation to enhance our archaeological knowledge and understanding, alongside conservation of site through annual vegetation management or targeted repairs to historic buildings.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Strategy and Partnership Advisor?

The variety of my role

Working in the amazingly rich, well-preserved and inspiring landscape of the lake District National Park

Working with the dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers

What do you enjoy most about working for the Lake District National Park Authority?

I am working in a really spectacular cultural landscape, one which has been recognised as a World Heritage Site…not many archaeologists have the privilege to say that!  

It is great working within a multi-disciplinary team who are instrumental in working with partners to establish policy to ensure the LDNP is cared for and protected for future generations. I get to hear about current issues that will have impacts for all of us, in particularly sustainable transport, biodiversity and the consideration of climate change and planning for the future.

I really enjoy working alongside the wider volunteer team, who help to make ever volunteers experience in the National Park a worthwhile and positive experience.

What advice would you give to someone that would like to work in the same role as you in the future?

Firstly, you will probably need a degree in archaeology or related subject, or extensive experience working in the archaeological sector. This will give you a good grounding to make decisions and assist others with enquires.  

I would recommend undertaking as many training courses as you can, in particular the free courses hosted by Historic England and as part of National Lottery Heritage Fund projects. Get out in the landscape and see lots of different sites. Join a professional organisation and undertake regular CPD. Get involved with local community groups, such as a local history group or Young Archaeologists’ Club.

What is your biggest personality trait and how does it help you in your role as Strategy and Partnership Advisor?

I am very (sometimes overly) enthusiastic and passionate about archaeology and disseminating the past to others. To work with community groups and volunteers this is a key attribute! You have to love your subject to be able to inspire others.

What route did you take to get into your career?

I undertook a degree in Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford

Following graduation I was lucky enough to secure a role with a commercial field archaeology company who I worked with for 18 years. During this time I excavated on numerous archaeological sites, from small watching briefs through to large and complex infrastructure projects. I was promoted during my career from site assistant through to Project Manager, where I was responsible for procuring and managing archaeological field projects from conception to completion. Building on my interest in community engagement, I also developed and delivered a community engagement and outreach programme. The latter led me to undertake a post-graduate qualification in community archaeology.

To expand my career horizon I took on a new role as the Cultural Heritage Officer as part of a large multi-million Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme. In this role I worked extensively with community groups, developing training opportunities, delivering engaging events, undertaking archaeological investigations and conservation programmes. Through this role I developed a greater understanding of the need to consider and work with other sectors/disciplines to achieve great results for local heritage and communities.