To ensure that the natural beauty of the Blackdown Hills continues to be appreciated and nurtured, we:
- Communicate the value of the landscape, biodiversity and history of the Blackdown Hills
- Provide opportunities for people to learn about and visit the Blackdown Hills AONB
- Help people access the area to improve their health and wellbeing
- Involve and support the people and organisations who are helping to look after this protected landscape
- Encourage sustainable forms of social and economic development.
As we go about our work we consider the needs of agriculture, forestry, and other rural industries, along with the economic and social needs of local communities.
The Blackdown Hills AONB is looked after by Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership, and a team of staff based in Hemyock. While the team is itself small, our work is amplified by collaborating with a network of organisations, businesses, farmers, landowners and local communities who care for the countryside and heritage of the area.
Our work is enhanced through a range of projects which focus on the cultural and natural heritage of the Blackdown Hills AONB, working alongside local and national organisations and involving local communities
The Catchment Communities Conference, on Friday 19 October 2018, brought together community representatives, land owners and managers, and practitioners from the East Devon Catchment Partnership with a view to working together for the future health of the river catchments of the Axe (including Yarty), Otter, Culm and Clyst.
For centuries, the sounds, sweat and smoke of iron-working were part of life in the Blackdown Hills. The rich iron-working past of The Blackdown Hills was rooted in this area’s geology and, in turn, the iron-working industry has left its mark on the landscape. The aim of the Metal Makers project was to bring to life and increase understanding of the ancient iron-working heritage of the Blackdown Hills.
The white-clawed crayfish – the UK's only native crayfish – is under threat. The River Culm, in the Blackdown Hills AONB, is one of only two sites in Devon where the endangered, white-clawed crayfish remains. In January 2018, we embarked on the Culm Community Crayfish project with a view to helping communities around the River Culm learn about, survey and look after this endangered species.