High Weald

The High Weald AONB is characterized by a deeply incised, ridged and faulted landform of clays and sandstone. The ridges tend east-west, and from them spring numerous gill streams that form the headwaters of rivers. Wide river valleys dominate the eastern part of the AONB. The landform and water systems are subject to, and influence, a local variant of the British sub-oceanic climate.

Vision for geology, landform, water systems and climate

A landscape in which sustainable land management takes care of the natural resources of geology, soil, landform, and water systems, whilst delivering a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits. The approach to land management will take account of, indeed will be partly stimulated by, climate change and rising sea levels.

Since the entire AONB is an important water catchment, much of the vision can be realised through the adoption of river restoration policies that seek to maximise opportunities for natural processes to reduce flooding; improve water quality; reduce soil erosion; increase biodiversity and amenity value; and encourage environmentally responsible land management and agriculture.

Top 5 issues for for geology, landform, water systems and climate

  • Understanding and responding to action to mitigate and adapt to
    climate change and its impact upon key landscape features and
  • Poor aquatic systems – failing to meet their potential as a water
    resource or for water quality, biodiversity and amenity
  • Climate change and rising sea levels – increasing the propensity to flood
    and highlighting unsustainable aspects of land and water management
  • Poor understanding of the benefits of adopting river restoration policies
    – that can utilise natural processes to reduce flooding, improve the aquatic systems, increase amenity value, provide ecosystem services, and reduce costs of maintaining the current systems
  • Threats to sandstone outcrops – inappropriate use, management, and neglect of key geological features and the ecology that they support