The Bowland Award is awarded annually by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) for “the best project, best practice or outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)”.
In the International Year of Volunteering, the NAAONB Board sought to reward examples of voluntary work at a local level that could be used by the AONB Family to deliver at a landscape scale nationally.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the Gower Society is this year’s recipient.
The Gower Society was established in 1948 with the aims of studying Gower, encouraging an appreciation and love of Gower and protecting it from inappropriate development. After the 1949 Act, the Society lobbied vigorously for AONB status, and Gower became the first AONB designated in the UK in 1956.
The Society has a current membership of approx 1600, and has a programme of some 150 activities each year, mainly guided walks and talks, but including practical conservation work (mainly connected with RoW) and a folk-dance section. The Society also has a Youth Action programme which meets separately and sponsors environmental work in local schools.
The Award was accepted on behalf of the Gower Society by Cllr John Hague, Chairman of Gower AONB Partnership. Cllr Hague said “I am delighted to accept the Bowland Award on behalf of The Gower Society who have helped the AONB Partnership to conserve and enhance our AONB for over 50 years”.
NAAONB Chairman, Cllr Peter Stevens said “ The Gower Society was a very worthy winner of the Bowland Award and it is fitting that this year’s recipient is a group of local volunteers who are offering local solutions to national issues. I congratulate them on their achievements”.