High Weald
  • Settlement barn oast spring
  • web homepage bluebell sunken path resize
  • Primrose bank in High Weald Bodiam 970x300
  • web homepage field patchwork
  • Spring Ewe Lamb Benenden
  • An Outstanding

    cultural landscape

    "Unless a man understands the Weald, he cannot write about the beginnings of England." Hilaire Belloc

    "A landscape chock-a-block with heritage" Historic England

    Read more...
  • Explore

    our medieval landscape

    Use our interactive map to discover what the countryside around you has to offer. Steam trains, climbing rocks, historic gardens and nature reserves; we have attractions to suit every age and energy level

    View map.....
  • Keep up-to-date

    on news at the heart of the High Weald AONB

    Regular updates of events affecting the countryside and the lives of those within it

    Read the news...
  • Preserve

    the beauty of your property’s surrounding area

    We give planning advice and support, with objectives set out in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan.

    Read more...
  • Learn more

    about us

    We aim to maintain and enhance the area's ancient landscape and enjoyment of it by current and future generations.

    Read more...

Vision for Field and Heath
A landscape in which the distinctive and historic pattern of fields is managed to maximise its full landscape, historic and wildlife value, and in which the special qualities of grassland and heathland habitats are enhanced and maintained by skilled land managers. Agricultural land is productive, whilst also contributing to sustainable land management and providing responsible access and enjoyment by the public.
This vision can be realised through new initiatives and policies that seek to maintain and expand traditional land-management skills, stimulate markets for local products, support a local infrastructure for productive farming, and provide expert advice to land managers.


Top 5 issues for field and heath

  • Declining extent of agriculture – land falling out of productive use into amenity and residential use, with consequent suburbanisation and neglect changes in farming payment schemes
  • Collapse of profitability of farming due to fall in farm gate prices (driven by the global market) and uncompetitive nature of High Weald agriculture (small holdings with poor soils) – resulting in lack of straightforward farm businesses, exits from agriculture, lack of successors to existing farms, increased reliance on non-land based diversification and incomes
  • Lack of infrastructure supporting agriculture and land management – e.g. absence of abattoirs supporting a predominantly grazed landscape
  • Declining skills – an ageing and shrinking workforce with the traditional skills necessary to maintain the features of the open land of the AONB
  • Environmental degradation – neglected fields and heaths scrubbing up, increasing run-off and agrochemical inputs, loss of key habitats (e.g. meadows and heaths), and damage to historic features (e.g. field boundaries and field pattern, and archaeological sites and monuments