The High Weald was firmly in the spotlight at the annual conference of the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty this month.
Team members from AONBs across the UK – including the High Weald AONB Partnership – came together for the two-day ‘Landscapes for Life’ conference in Winchester, where attendees shared best practice and ideas for exciting and innovative projects to help manage and conserve the country’s outstanding landscapes.
External speakers included senior representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England as well as Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defra.
The High Weald team opened the first day of the conference with an engaging multimedia presentation about the High Weald Heroes education programme. The scheme was shortlisted for the prestigious Bowland Award, which is awarded annually for the most inspiring project or outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Throughout the event, a range of seminars and talks highlighted the High Weald AONB Partnership’s extensive and varied work to conserve and protect the historic medieval landscape.
A presentation by Business Manager Gerry Sherwin showcased the forthcoming ‘Beautiful Boundaries’ hedgerow project funded by the National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI). This partnership project will help maintain and rejuvenate the area’s distinctive boundary features by working with landowners to restore ancient hedgerows and planting trees.
High Weald Co-Director Sally Marsh delivered a briefing on the importance of developing an AONB’s character evidence base to help inform planning decisions and also took part in a discussion on the concept of ‘Natural Beauty’ and the value of defining those qualities that make AONBs outstanding.
Learn more about the Landscapes for Life Conference 2017.
Learn more about High Weald Heroes.