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Cannock Chase AONB was designated in 1958 under the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949.
Important both locally and nationally, Cannock Chase is part of a family of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the smallest AONB at 26 square miles and is designated as an AONB because of its beautiful landscape, its history and its wildlife. In 2002 under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the AONB Unit was established to co-ordinate the development and implementation of a management plan for the AONB on behalf of a partnership of the 5 local authorities who have part of the AONB within their boundary and the Forestry Commission.
Defra provide 75% of the funding for the AONB Unit to carry out this task with the remaining 25% provided by Cannock Chase, Lichfield and South Staffordshire District Councils, Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council. A management and governance review was undertaken in 2002-03 which resulted in the Partnership Agreement being established. The structure of the Partnership includes the Joint Committee, made up of 5 local authority elected members at cabinet or executive level and advisors, an Advisory Partnership, made up of interest groups such as British Horse Society, Ramblers Association, Friends of Cannock Chase, cyclists, local businesses and young people and the Parish Councils’ meeting. All are legally constituted as outlined in the Partnership Agreement.