Our friends at Nidderdale AONB will open a consultation to the public on Friday 22 February on their management plans for the area. Full press release below.
Help Shape the Future of Nidderdale AONB
The public is invited to give their views on the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan, which will inform the future conservation of the area.
The Nidderdale (AONB) Management Plan 2019-2024 is designed to provide a framework to guide the work of the AONB Partnership in conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape.
AONBs are designated as so special, its wildlife and landscape are protected at a national level. The statutory plan is formulated every five years.
Councillor Nigel Simms, Chair of the Nidderdale AONB Joint Advisory Committee, said: “The previous 2014-2019 Plan acted as a blueprint for everyone who cares about conserving the AONB’s special qualities, including the local community, visitors and volunteers, farmers and landowners, local authorities and government agencies. We’re now ready to invite feedback on our draft 2019-2024 Plan.”
To date, consultation has already taken part with Natural England, the Environment Agency and others, alongside interest groups, such as farmers, with themed workshops to discuss the issues and priorities for action.
21,000 postcards were also issued to homes across Nidderdale AONB to gather residents’ opinions and concerns, with an online survey for wider audiences.
Councillor Simms said: “We need to take local action. Our Management Plan for the next five years is crucial as change is coming in a major way. Key challenges include uncertainty around farming post-Brexit, rural isolation, and providing opportunities to engage all generations into the rural economy. Add the national crisis around affordable housing and rural services and the global threat of climate change. Despite the challenges, there’s enormous energy from people in Nidderdale to engage in and safeguard our countryside.”
The Plan coordinates action by land managers, members of the AONB’s rural communities, third sector bodies like the National Trust, local authorities, and government agencies.
It contains policies on what the AONB stands for and a vision of how the AONB should look in 2050, with objectives that are designed to help towards achieving the vision.
Previous projects in the AONB as a result of this framework includes delivering business and environmental advice for farmers to get Brexit-ready, training volunteers for the citizen science project The Wild Watch to inform conservation strategies, restoring hay meadows, planting trees, and supporting rural tourism with initiatives such as the Dark Skies Festival.
Sarah Kettlewell, AONB Manager, said: “We encourage those who live, work and visit the AONB to look at the draft plan and put forward their views. The AONB is a living and working landscape and people are at the heart of protecting our countryside and safeguarding its future. This Plan is crucial for everyone who cares about conserving the AONB’s special qualities.”
Nidderdale AONB is an area of 233 square miles located on the eastern flanks of the Yorkshire Pennines stretching from the high moorland of Great Whernside south and east towards the edge of the Vale of York.
To view the plans and comment on the Draft AONB Management Plan, go to nidderdaleaonb.org.uk where the consultation will be open from 22nd February until 22nd March.