The South Devon AONB Unit welcomes the findings of the Designated Landscapes Review. We are pleased the Review team has recognised the value of the AONB designation and the hard work that AONB staff and members carry out to conserve and enhance these special areas. We are also heartened that the Review team recognise that, given adequate resources, there is so much more AONBs can deliver for nature and society.
We particularly welcome the recommendation that government provides the resources and policy framework to support local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty teams to do this. We would like to thank Julian Glover, Dame Fiona Reynolds, Sarah Mukherjee, Jim Dixon, Ewen Cameron and Jake Fiennes for their time and commitment and for producing a challenging but fair report.
The central proposition that AONBs are strengthened with new purposes, powers and resources, and renamed as National Landscapes is a powerful and fundamentally important step in ensuring the benefits of the AONB designation are optimised.
Currently funding of all AONBs in the country costs each taxpayer less than 20p per year. AONB teams and Conservation Boards have proved themselves time and again to be lithe organisations, capable of punching well above their weight. With increased resources and a supportive policy framework in place, the future for the nation’s most beloved areas looks bright.
Roger English, Manager South Devon AONB Unit said “In this, the 70th anniversary year of the passing of the legislation which paved the way for the setting up of our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks, the Review was particularly welcome. Society has changed beyond recognition since that pioneering legislation was put into place. The demands placed on our designated landscapes have never been greater, demands matched only by our increased human need for natural beauty, wild spaces and tranquil places. We are looking forward to welcoming Ewen Cameron a member of the Review Panel to our Annual Forum, at Stokeley Farm Shop, on Wednesday 9th October.”