Landscapes review meeting with Lord Cameron (13/02/19)
We were pleased to have the opportunity last month to meet with Lord Cameron of Dillington who is part of the Landscapes Review Panel. The aim is to assess whether the protections for National Parks and AONBs are still fit for purpose. In particular, what might be done better, what changes will help and if the definitions and systems in place are still valid.
We had a morning of useful discussions about the good value that AONBs offer. One request was to ensure parity between AONBs and National Parks through the alignment of statutory purposes, specifically to include for AONBs ‘wildlife and cultural heritage’ and to add the promotion of understanding and enjoyment of their area’s special qualities as a subsidiary purpose.
South Devon AONB is signed up as a good cause with the weekly SeaMoor lotto operated by South Hams District Council. The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership needs your help to continue caring for your local area and ensure the designation really delivers for you. The cost of each ticket is £1 and 50% of the ticket price is donated to the good cause. The draw takes place every Saturday night with results are posted at www.seamoorlotto.co.uk , Facebook and Twitter. Good luck
The Devon Countryside Access Forum is a statutory local access forum under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. It has seventeen members who advise on the “improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area..” The Forum gives independent advice to a number of Government bodies in addition to Devon County Council, district and borough councils and parish and town councils.
Devon County Council is currently appointing members to the Forum and would welcome applications from anyone with an interest in recreational access.
It’s difficult to be positive about Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and especially with marine INNS, it is nearly all about prevention rather than cure. As there are many unknowns, we have to take a precautionary approach to how damaging INNS can be.
In partnership with Natural England, we are setting up local volunteer groups to help survey the populations of the feral Pacific oysters in South Devon. If you would like to help, please get in touch with Nigel Mortimer AONB Estuaries Officer [email protected] 01803 861384
Wanted - Circular walks volunteers (04/12/18)
Do you enjoy exploring South Devon AONB by foot? We have 45 popular online walks available to download from our website for free, one of the most popular areas of the site.. They range in length from 2 to 12 miles and include a map, details of facilities and access as well as information on wildlife, archaeology and history.
We are currently in the process of updating the information that accompanies the routes, to ensure the details are accurate. We are inviting keen walkers to review the routes and add further information where relevant, expenses will be paid.
King Edward Sixth Community College Totnes students work, will feature in a South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty multimedia exhibition at the Ariel Centre in Totnes from 10th to 21st December.
The work was produced as part of the What Makes South Devon Special campaign supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Students participated in tutored photo days on site at Bearscombe Farm, Slapton and Start Point alongside professional photographers Phil Hemsley, Jo Bradford and Beccy Strong. A number of the photos they took were shortlisted in the AONB photo competition.
The project focussed on the distinctive character of the natural heritage which makes up this nationally important landscape.
As part of the Future Landscapes Project, conducted by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB), a cohort of 40 AONB staff is taking part in a nationwide professional and personal development programme designed to help ensure the UK’s outstanding national landscapes are conserved and enhanced for future generations. This has been made possible by the National Lottery funding received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in the form of a £164,300 Resilient Heritage grant. Both Roger English - Manager and Nicky Bailey - Community Projects Officer have been selected to participate from the South Devon AONB team
Explorer Monty Halls presented the prizes for the South Devon AONB Photo Competition at a special event held at The Flavel in Dartmouth on 22nd October 2018. The competition that attracted 200 entries was part of the heritage lottery funded ‘What Makes South Devon Special’ campaign which has been running since April. The project has focussed on the Special Qualities of the protected landscape with a series of walks focussing on specific themes, events, work with primary schools and A level photography students. Monty Halls said that despite his extensive travels South Devon could not be rivalled for its natural beauty describing it as “paradise on earth.”
Temporary South West Coast Path at Slapton (03/08/18)
Plans to realign and rebuild the storm-damaged A379 between Slapton and Strete Gate have been approved and are underway.
A temporary South West Coast Path is in place until October 2018, taking you around the perimeter of the works area and along the beach. The beach is shingle which makes for difficult walking, so please take this into account when planning your walk
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was first introduced in 2012. It brought together around 1,000 pages of planning policy and guidance into a single document of 59 pages, and established a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’.
The Government consulted on a revised NPPF earlier this year and the South Devon AONB and the National Association for AONBs have both responded to the consultation.
The Avon Valley Facilitation group coordinated by the South Devon AONB Unit welcomed Farming Minister George Eustice MP to a meeting of over 50 farmers at Holsome Park, Diptford near Totnes. Farming Minister George Eustice said: “As one of the largest facilitation groups in the country, Avon Valley is a brilliant example of how famers can work together to protect the landscape. Farmers and land managers are playing a key role in keeping South Devon productive, while ensuring a united commitment to protect and improve our natural environment”.
Review of Designated Landscapes (30/05/18)
Following Defra's recent anouncement of a review of designated landscapes, NAAONB Chairman, Philip Hygate said: “I really welcome the attention government is paying to the beauty of the English landscape. Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan makes it clear that Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are highly valued and worthy of investment. What’s more, this is an exciting time to really discover how much designated landscapes can deliver for society, the economy, and nature. Whether it’s the rolling hills and picturesque villages of the Chilterns, the ruggedness of the Cornish coast, or the tranquility of the Dedham Vale, each AONB has something unique to offer the nation."