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The Nineteenth Annual Conference took place on Tuesday 18th July - Wednesday 19th July in Winchester, Hampshire.
All sessions and postings from the 2017 conference are archived below.
Nearly Wild Camping is a new organisation, set up to create new opportunities for people to camp in wilder places than traditional campsites. It is a membership co-operative, where campers and location owners are equal members. The purpose is to provide a small income to the landowner as a ‘thank you’ (as a minimum) for hosting wilder camping experiences (though some owners are starting to provide wilder camping as a market niche and gaining good rates). The owners often gain new volunteers to help their work, sales for countryside products or experiences, and /or provide an informal fun learning opportunity for the campers to learn more about the countryside.
In the session the covered the background to the organisation and its ethos; the set up period; early lessons; how we are trying to work with the market for social and environmental goals and how the organisation functions. They took participants through the pros and cons for both campers and camp location owners. Finally they discussed some of our exciting emerging future plans, building on the successful recruitment of their first overseas location! (more…)
The briefing explored in detail about the practicalities of embarking on the Life Cycles and Landscapes project and a recent trip that was made to the Netherlands to meet the Dutch festival partners Oerol. Activate approached Oerol to work with them because they have been working with artists in the landscape for over 25 Years, both in performing arts and more recently installation/visual arts, and they are now deeply embedded in the stewardship of their island of Terschelling. As a result of their artistic activity, they now produce the environmental audit for the island’s council.
Dorset AONB, the Norfolk Coast Partnership AONB and Activate Performing Arts shared their experience of embarking on a partnership project focussed on art in the landscape and their work with artists And Now, and being inspired by Inside Out Dorset and Oerol Festivals. (more…)
The briefing gave an outline of the project and how the project leader has been working in partnership with Public Health in Somerset alongside the 3 AONB Partnerships (Quantock, Mendip and Blackdown Hills). This included an overview from year one of the project as well as a few case studies.
During the briefing, feedback sessions with the group about Nature and Welllbeing work in their AONB took place and the write up notes from the session are listed below. (more…)
This briefing looked at some of the many different ways we can work on the theme of geodiversity – etc – to help people to understand and enjoy their local landscape and natural heritage. In the North Pennines AONB, also a UNESCO Global Geopark, the team has had a strong focus on geodiversity work for over ten years and has significant experience to share about how to make the most of this often overlooked aspect of our heritage, and one which is intimately linked to landscape.
This briefing highlighted the value of evidence from landscape change surveillance and monitoring for designated landscapes management planning and put this in the context of Natural England’s work to develop national indicators for landscape change using the NCA profiles as an ‘all England’ spatial framework. Also how this work fits with the Natural England Conservation Strategy. (more…)
Much has changed in the past 5 years since the 2012 Management Plan Advice Note was prepared. The NAAONB has moved to provide the updated England context document which can help with plan reviews. This will enable precious resources to be concentrated where issues and drivers have changed. This session explored that context and aim to answer questions about how it may be used. (more…)
The Landscapes for Life Award recognises those who have contributed 20 years or more to the conservation and enhancement of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
It bestows national recognition and gratitude for the service given by staff, volunteers and elected members who have assisted the work of their AONB partnerships.
Since its inception in 2015, 27 people who between them have given over 500 years service to AONBs have received this recognition for their work.
Sarah Bury, nominated by Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership
Sarah was involved from the early days of the Shropshire Hills AONB Joint Advisory Committee in the mid 1990s as a South Shropshire District Councillor, and became its Chair. On standing down from the Council in the early 2000s, she remained as an independent Chair of the then AONB Partnership until 2005. This established the enduring pattern that the Partnership’s Chair would be an independent member. As a trustee of her family’s Millichope Foundation, Sarah remained closely involved with the AONB as a generous donor and Grant Panel member (and Chair) for the Sustainable Development Fund up to 2014. Sarah also rejoined the AONB Partnership, and continues to now as the member representing CPRE, for whom she is the Shropshire Chair. In 2015 Sarah also became one of the founding trustees of the Shropshire Hills AONB Trust, bringing her valuable experience of charitable trusts. Following the successful establishment of the AONB Trust, Sarah has recently stood down from this role. She continues as a Panel member on behalf of the Millichope Foundation for the new small grants programme, the Shropshire Hills AONB Conservation Fund.
A staunch supporter and advocate for both the AONB landscape and its organisation, Sarah’s calm but influential voice has been hugely valuable over many years. From pushing for sound planning decisions to managing a lively Partnership and at times interesting local authority dynamics, her contribution has been very significant. Though she is gradually reducing her many roles, we hope we will continue to benefit from Sarah’s input for some time yet.
Simon Dereham nominated by Wye Valley AONB Partnership
Simon took over the CLA seat on the Wye Valley AONB Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) in December 1983 and he retired in March 2017. He also covered the non-voting JAC seat for the River Wye Preservation Trust from 1998 from which he retires in November 2017 (He was also chairman of the River Wye Preservation Trust for 27 years). Simon has been immensely supportive of the AONB Partnership and the work of the AONB Unit. A sage advisor and a sound ‘critical friend’, his contributions to the JAC meetings and events have always been insightful and welcome. Meanwhile his connections with the local farmers and landowners has been invaluable to the success of a range of AONB projects and initiatives.
Under his chairmanship the River Wye Preservation Trust championed a number of AONB projects, most notably:-
Simon also served on the Wye Management Advisory Group and the Wye Navigation Advisory Committee. He was JAC vice-chairman for a time but declined the role of chairman due to other commitments and deteriorating health. Thankfully his health is much improved but full retirement now beckons. The Wye Valley AONB has benefited hugely from Simon’s measured and influential contributions over his many years of service.
Over the last half century, there has been a catastrophic decline in hay meadows and a corresponding decline in bumblebees. With 40% of the UK’s resource of upland hay meadows and rare invertebrates, we are in a strong position to take action. The North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Nectarworks project focusses on the enhancement, restoration and celebration of flower-rich habitats and the nectar-feeding invertebrates that depend on them. We are proud of our achievements through this project.