In 2019 we’re excited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the legislation that led to the creation of National Parks and AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) in England and Wales.
Significantly for our countryside, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949 provided powers for protecting the natural beauty of some of our finest and most loved landscapes.
So this anniversary year is the perfect opportunity to celebrate what is so special about the cherished landscape of the High Weald AONB, one of 46 designated AONBs in the UK. Make this year your year to discover what the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has to offer.
The High Weald is one of the best surviving Medieval landscapes in Northern Europe, with irreplaceable ancient woodland, wildflower meadows buzzing with life, and steep-sided streams (known as gills) sheltering rare plants. Discover more about why the High Weald is so outstanding here.
Watch our 'High Weald Story' (with stunning aerial views) to find out how people created this landscape with its rolling hills, scattered farmsteads, small woodlands, irregular-shaped fields, open heaths and ancient routeways.
In this celebratory year, and as the Government launches its 2019 'Year of Green Action' to help more people participate in environmental improvement projects, it’s fantastic that we have Sussex Lund grant funding which helps people take action to improve the landscape of the High Weald. This year more than ever, we want to encourage people with practical projects which will benefit the High Weald´s distinct character and natural beauty to apply to Sussex Lund.
Our exciting plans for this auspicious year include a bigger and better High Weald Walking Festival from 14 to 22 September 2019. In this second year of the Festival, even more people will have the opportunity to explore this historic landscape and its breathtaking scenery. A host of inspiring themed walks led by experienced and knowledgeable guides will be on offer, all free-of-charge.
The protection afforded by the AONB designation is especially relevant now, in the context of Brexit and the ending of the Common Agricultural Policy in the UK, and in the face of development pressures.
At this time of challenge and opportunity, the High Weald AONB Partnership is committed to maintaining and enhancing this area's precious landscape and enjoyment of it by current and future generations.