Green Connect asked him about the upcoming conference.
What are your hopes for the conference and afterwards?
I hope that the conference will really start to put Green Connect on the map, both within the regional network of parks and green space managers who we believe need our support and importantly within parks communities and local campaign groups whose engagement is perhaps even more important.
I think we are aware that to some extent our organisation is 'punching beyond it's weight' by organising a relatively high profile and ambitious conference on such a small resource base - however there is no growth without risk so I am delighted we are going for it!
What will attendees be able to learn about at the conference?
We have a really good spread of excellent speakers from key national organisations as well as those from the South West, and I am sure that for each presentation there will be at least one or two important learning points that people can take away with them.
Above all Green Connect is a learning network so we hope the conference will provide delegates with a broader base of contacts who they can speak to during and after the conference - about new funding ideas, quality awards, campaigning and so forth.
If you could ask attendees to do one thing before they attend what would it be?
Think about what personal contribution they can make to ensuring the conference is a success. We have all been to similar events when too many people sit on their hands even if they have burning issues to discuss, leading to a small number of people feeling they need to fill the vacuum......
I really hope we have a full house comprising people with diverse and interesting views and everyone comes along wanting to take an active part - as this will help us build positive momentum for the network as well as set the foundations for our Spring 2015 conference next April.
How will you stop the conference from just covering the same old moaning topics of no money, no staff and a need to prioritize parks higher on the social agenda?
I will have to give this further thought, maybe we need to adopt a 'no moaning' rule at the start, at the same time as everyone puts their mobiles on silent!?
I am hoping that by targeting an audience of parks managers and community representatives, that we will be able to avoid the tendency for discussions to become too inward looking as parks professional networking events have become in the past...
To find out more about Peter Wilkinson an The Next Field click here for the website http://www.thenextfield.co.uk/about.php