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The theme of Landscapes for Life Conference 2016 (#L4L2016) is Sharing, Learning, Inspiring and it will bring delegates together to discuss the case for natural beauty in relationship to the health and wellbeing of society.
Site visits encompassing the iconic landscapes of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, Malvern Hills, Shropshire Hills and Wye Valley AONBs will highlight some of the work that is being undertaken within the local AONBs.
It is estimated that 50% of women and a third of men in the UK are compromising their health and life expectancy through a lack of physical activity, at a cost of £7.4bn per annum. Even more worryingly only 25% of girls and 32% of boys are meeting the recommended levels of exercise to maintain a healthy life.
It is further documented that sense of place, active and engaged communities, access to really high quality green space, and tranquillity all tribute enormously to our mental health.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as dynamic living landscapes, can provide or encourage all these.
At Landscapes for Life Conference 2016, we are linking organisations and individuals who share one of our key objectives – improving the health and wellbeing of society – and showing how collaborative working between people and organisations who care about our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a wealth of opportunities for the UK’s health and wellbeing.
We are doing this over the next three days by sharing ideas between speakers and delegates, learning from current practice and projects, and, by developing relationships. It is these relationships which will lead to action to benefit our nation’s health by making better use of the UK’s natural beauty.
I am delighted to see you all. I look forward to lively debate and discussion and seeing the resulting practical action throughout the UK’s Protected Landscapes. I am sure that you will leave Landscapes for Life Conference 2016 with the knowledge that the AONB Family and partners are working hard to protect our most valuable resource, ensuring that AONBs remain Landscapes for Life in more ways than one.
Thank you for joining us.
Philip Hygate – Chairman