Until July 2015 the High Weald Community Landscape Fund (CLF) provided grants for innovative projects that conserved and enhanced the landscape and contributed to sustainable development in protected areas. The money came from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a government body responsible for the natural environment, to all 50 AONBs in England and Wales.
The Fund began in 2005, as the Sustainable Development Fund, in realisation of the role that protected landscapes can play in encouraging sustainable development. More recently it was known as the Community Landscape Fund and focused on projects which resulted in:
AONB landscape features that are:
- better managed and in better condition
- better interpreted and explained
- better identified/recorded.
More people and a wider range of people that have:
- developed heritage skills
- learnt about landscape
- accessed the area's landscape
- changed their attitudes and/or behaviour towards landscape
- used local products
- volunteered time.
The CLF was administered by the High Weald AONB Unit on behalf of the High Weald AONB Joint Advisory Committee (JAC), a partnership of 15 local authorities; 4 county and 11 district councils, and Defra.
Between 2005 and 2015 the CLF awarded £386,500 to 165 projects enabling £1.29 million of benefits to the High Weald landscape. The Fund ceased to operate in July 2015.