Members of the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership
Action East Devon
Action East Devon’s is a charity working with the people, communities and organisations of East Devon to create the services and support they need to live happier and healthier lives. Its volunteer centre provides a matching service for those seeking opportunities and organisations requiring volunteers. Formerly East Devon Council for Voluntary Service (EDVSA).
Blackdown Hills Woodland Association
Blackdown Hills Artist and Makers (BHAM)
A membership organisation of creative practitioners who live, work, and have an interest in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Blackdown Hills Business Association (BHBA)
Not-for-profit membership organisation supporting businesses operating within the Blackdown Hills and surrounding market towns and villages. Provides a supportive environment where businesses can learn, connect and grow together, with a view to creating a vibrant, successful and sustainable economy in the Blackdown Hills.
Blackdown Hills Hedge Association
Enthusiastic group of people living and working on the Blackdown Hills who are dedicated to preserving the craft of hedgelaying and other related skills in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Association runs training courses and the annual Skills of the Hills event.
Blackdown Hills Parish Network
Brings together parishes within, or partly within, the Blackdown Hills AONB. The Parish Network provides a mechanism for the parishes to collaborate, have a collective voice and share information and resources. Its priorities stem from the Blackdown Hills Community Plan (2011) which helps local parish councils to address common issues.
Blackdown Hills Rough Grazing Association
Promotes the active management of rough, wildlife-rich grazing land in the Blackdown Hills to optimise its commercial value and enhance its wildlife.
This landowner-led group encourages owners and managers of this type of land to communicate with each other, to share experience and to learn together.
Blackdown Hills Trust
Blackdown Hills Trust promotes the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the Blackdown Hills. Activities include supporting cattle grazing in the areas of woodland along the northern scarp of the Blackdown Hills and helping with the restoration of the WW2 aerodrome buildings at Tricky Warren.
Blackdown Support Group
Promotes good health and wellbeing and supports those in need of extra help when sick or suffering from accidents, disabilities or advancing years. The Group also helps residents to preserve good health and well-being. The group cares for young and old throughout the Blackdown Hills.
British Horse Society
The UK’s largest equestrian charity. Protects and promotes the interests of all horses and those who care about them, including the 3.5 million people in the UK who ride or drive a horse-drawn carriage.
UK conservation charity devoted to saving butterflies, moths and their habitats. Their aim is to stop the decline of many butterfly and moth species in Britain, and at the same time help safeguard the environment itself. Butterfly Conservation manages two reserves in Blackdown Hills both in the north of the AONB: Little Breach in Devon and Mount Fancy Farm in Somerset.
Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Devon
A campaign organisation working locally to stand up for the Devon countryside: to protect it from the threats it faces and to shape its future for the better. Works to protect, promote and enhance towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy.
Community Council for Somerset (CCS)
Supports community groups, organisations and individuals in Somerset’s communities through a diverse range of projects. CCS has a team of local professional online advisers offer independent and impartial advice relating to community issues.
Involve – Mid Devon Council for Voluntary Service
A voluntary and community, local infrastructure organisation providing the full range of developmental, capacity building and support functions to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of voluntary and community organisations working within Mid Devon.
Country Land and Business Association (CLA)
Membership organisation for owners of land, property and business in rural England and Wales. CLA campaigns and lobbies on behalf of landowners; offers support and advice through a policy, legal, and tax advisory service and provides networking opportunities.
Devon Communities Together
Provides services and information to organisations in rural areas of Devon and encourages rural self-help and local initiatives. Devon Communities Together can help on such matters as village halls, community projects and playing fields.
Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT)
Devon Wildlife Trust manages 50 nature reserves across Devon and is responsible for variety of conservation initiatives across the county, including the River Otter Beaver Trial and Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. Devon Wildlife Trust’s has a number of nature reserves in the Blackdown Hills AONB: Ashculm Turbary, Clayhidon Turbary, Lickham Common, and The Rough.
Devon Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC)
Collects, manages and makes available a database of Devon wildlife, now with over 4.5 million records. DBRC is run on a not-for-profit basis and his hosted by Devon Wildlife Trust to act a central reference point for anyone who wants to know about wildlife in Devon.
Devon Federation of Women’s Institutes (Devon WI)
The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities. Devon WI represents more than 200 Women’s Institutes throughout the county.
Devon Young Farmers’ Club (Devon YFC)
A place where young people with a love for agriculture and rural life can meet, learn skills, help the community, travel abroad, compete in competitions and generally have a great time! Devon YFC brings together the 38 Young Farmers’ Clubs in the county.
Young Devon is working to tackle disadvantage and improve opportunities for young people across Devon. The charity offers confidential advice to young people on issues such as housing, training, work, relationships and health, and provides training, consultancy and mentoring for youth sector organisations. Formerly Devon Youth Association.
Working across England to create better places for people and wildlife, and to support sustainable development. The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating major industry and waste; treatment of contaminated land; water quality and resources; fisheries; inland river, estuary and harbour navigations; conservation and ecology; and managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea.
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for protecting, improving and expanding England’s forests and woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission, caring for and managing England’s public estate of forests and woods, helping to make them even more special places for wildlife to live, for people to enjoy and for businesses to thrive. Castle Neroche and Staple Hill in the Blackdown Hills AOBN are managed by the Forestry Commission.
Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) South West
A registered charity which seeks to support, enthuse and inspire farmers to value the environmental assets on their land and use them to secure sustainable and profitable businesses for the future. FWAG South West acts to promote and enhance the conservation of wildlife, the environment and the landscape in relation to modern agricultural needs.
The public body that looks after the historic environment, Historic England champions and protects historic places, helping people to understand, to value and to care for them. Historic England is funded largely by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
National Farmers Union (NFU)
A membership organisation and trade association representing farmers and across England and Wales. Its purpose is to champion British agriculture and horticulture, to campaign for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers and to secure the best possible deal for its members.
A conservation charity, a major landowner and one of the largest membership organisations in the United Kingdom. National Trust looks after for more than 300 houses and gardens in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It promotes environmentally-friendly practises and cares for the diverse and rare wildlife that lives on its land.
Natural England is the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, promoting nature conservation, encouraging access to the countryside, protecting biodiversity, and conserving and enhancing the landscape. Natural England is responsible for designating Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and giving advice to local planning authorities on development proposals within an AONB.
A social enterprise based in the Neroche Forest near Taunton, working with nature to fire spirits, kindle community and foster wellbeing. Based in Young Wood in the Neroche Forest, activities include Forest School, wild learning, volunteering, bush-craft, team-building and camps.
Otterhead Estate Trust
Otterhead Estate Trust is a not-for-profit company set up to manage the Otterhead Lakes Local Nature Reserve. The Reserve includes the ‘lost gardens’ of Otterhead House, the two remaining Otterhead Lakes and a section of the River Otter. The Trust’s aim is to improve wildlife habitats, conserve garden plants, built heritage features and, where possible, restore the designed landscape.
The Ramblers, formally known as The Ramblers’ Association, is the largest walkers’ rights organisation in Great Britain. It aims to represent the interests of walkers and promotes walking for pleasure, health, leisure and transport. There are around 500 Ramblers groups in Britain, including Devon and Somerset.
RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
RSPB works to conserve and protect birds and the wider environment in England, Scotland and Wales. It does through monitoring and analysis; identifying the changes and problems facing wild birds, wildlife and the environment so that it can direct support where it is most needed; lobbying governments and other organisations to do all they can to save nature; and encouraging everyone to give nature a home.
Somerset Wildlife Trust
Based in Taunton, Somerset Wildlife Trust manages 72 reserves in Somerset, including 10 in the Blackdown Hills: Bickham Wood, Bishopswood Meadows, Brimley Hill Mire, Dommett Wood, Jan Hobbs, Quants, Ringdown, Ruggin, Wellington Castle Fields, and Yarty Moor. It also hosts the Somerset Environmental Records Centre.
Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC)
Somerset Environmental Records Centre collects, manages analyses and supplies data on wildlife and the surrounding environment. This resource is useful for research, monitoring and recording. It is also used by landowners and conservation groups to help manage sites for nature conservation and by developers and planners to assess the potential impact of development works.
Somerset Federation of Women’s Institute (Somerset WI)
Somerset WI, with its headquarters in Taunton, brings together 129 Women’s Institutes across the county. The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
Somerset Young Farmers Club
A rural membership organisation for young people between the age of 10 and 26 who have an interest in the rural environment. The Club provides opportunities for members to develop skills for life, taking part in sports and activities such as stock judging, public speaking, fundraising and travel. Somerset Young Farmers brings together more than 20 Young Farmers Clubs across Somerset.
South West Heritage Trust
The South West Heritage Trust is an independent charity that protects and celebrates Somerset and Devon’s rich heritage. As well as the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Rural Life Museum, the Trust manages state-of-the-art facilities in Taunton and Exeter to care for the extraordinary archive collections of the two counties. The Trust also provides essential advice about the historic environment and manages historic sites.
Transition Group (Blackdown Hills)
Transition is a movement that encourages communities to step up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. Transition groups around the world have been crowd-sourcing solutions, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work and the economy, and nurturing a caring, supportive culture. Blackdown Hills Transition Group is our local hub, supporting current initiatives and helping new ones to grow, and writing Transition articles in the parish magazines.
A regional water and sewerage business serving 2.8 million customers across the south west of England including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire. In the Blackdown Hills, Wessex Water owns Otterhead Lakes Local Nature Reserve which is manged on their behalf by the Otterhead Estate Trust Company. The lakes at Otterhead supply mains drinking water to Taunton.
Young Somerset is a rural regeneration organisation working with young people, encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves and become actively involved in shaping the communities in which they live. The organisation helps young people access training and employment opportunities, provides individual support and advice on a range of issues and encourages participation in positive activities.
Blackdown Hills AONB spans the counties of Devon and Somerset. Homes and businesses in the AONB are, therefore, served by either Devon County Council or Somerset County Council.
The County Councils are responsible for services across the whole of the county, like education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards.
Devon County Council hosts and provides administrative support to the Blackdown Hills AONB staff team.
Some of our staff members work across the three Somerset AONBs and are employed via Somerset County Council.
District and Borough Councils
These cover a smaller area than county councils. They’re responsible for services like rubbish collection, recycling, council tax collections, housing, and planning applications.
Parish councils operate at a level below district and borough councils. They’re elected and can help on with various local issues, like providing allotments, public clocks, bus shelters, community centres, play areas and play equipment, grants to help local organisations, consultation on neighbourhood planning.
In the Blackdown Hills AONB most of the Parish Councils are represented by the Blackdown Hills Parish Network