Steering the future of the Blackdown Hills AONB

 In Farming & land management, National Landscape updates

Have your say

Two important reviews are underway which will impact on how the Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) is run and the activities we will be focussing on. We would like to encourage you to use this opportunity to share your views…

Blackdown Hills AONB Management Plan 2019-2024

The consultation draft of the next five-year management plan for Blackdown Hills AONB is available for public comment until 30 November 2018. This is a locally prepared and agreed statement of public policy for managing the area setting out what is needed to conserve and enhance what we all value about the Blackdown Hills AONB.

How to take part:

Visit the management plan page where you can view/download the draft plan and download a comment form.
If you would like to discuss the draft management plan with a member of the AONB team, we are holding two drop-in sessions at our office in Hemyock, on:
Thursday 1 November between 9am and 12 noon
Monday 12 November between 1pm and 4pm

Government review of England’s protected landscapes

The Government has asked for an independent review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). The review team wants everyone to have a chance to contribute to help shape and improve the review’s findings, including residents, businesses, visitors and organisations.

How to take part:

Submit your views via the review’s online survey by 18 December 2018.

A view of cows in pasture overlooking Stockland

A view of cows in pasture overlooking Stockland

The role of the Blackdown Hills AONB partnership

Our role is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Read about what we do

Project work

We have worked on a wide range of projects, both independently and collaborating with partner organisations. Here are some of the more recent ones:

Culm Community Crayfish project
Helping local communities learn about, survey and look after the white-clawed crayfish, the UK’s only native crayfish and an endangered species.

Farming and woodland group
Bringing landowners together to share knowledge, learn from each other, and work collaboratively to improve their practices and look after natural resources and the environment.

Nature and wellbeing
Helping members of the local community make the most of Somerset’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) through participating in activities that improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Identifying opportunities and training for volunteers, generating interest in volunteering, and cultivating lasting links between people wanting to volunteer and local groups seeking volunteer support.

Connecting the Culm
Working with partners to tackle some of the issues associated with the River Culm and its catchment, such as flooding and water quality.

Woods for Water
As part of a regional project, supporting landowners to encourage woodland planting and management in appropriate locations to combat flooding and improve water quality.

Catchment Communities conference
Teaming up with East Devon Catchment Partnership to host a conference on the river catchments of the Axe (including Yarty), Otter, Culm and Clyst.

Field boundaries and linear landscape features
A pilot study exploring field boundaries and linear landscape features, the role they play in the landscape, their heritage value and the benefits they provide.

Blackdown Hills Natural Futures
Discovering more about the natural heritage of the Blackdown Hills, raising awareness of the area’s natural heritage and helping local communities to set up their own nature projects.

Metal Makers
Bringing to life and increasing understanding of the ancient iron-working heritage of the Blackdown Hills.

A group of volunteers posing with completed willow structure to repair river bank erosion

Volunteers repairing river bank erosion with coppiced willow on the River Culm

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