Supporting local communities in work to conserve, enhance and celebrate our natural beauty is one of our most important roles.
This page provides a summary of our work in this area during the 2013-14 financial year.
There has been an increase this year in our work with local people to help them interpret what’s special about where they live, and a great deal of effort put into ensuring that the Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme has strong community engagement. We continued to support local community projects through our Sustainable Development Fund, though central Government cuts mean that this is the last year that we can operate this fund.
- Over £20,000 of Sustainable Development Funds were given to businesses and community groups.
- Securing funding for the Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership scheme will unlock opportunity to make reality the planned work to celebrate local history, culture and landscape and develop community businesses.
- The inaugural Pendlebury Award went to botanist Dr Margaret Bradshaw.
Some of our achievements this year:
Sustainable Development Fund
- Sustainable Development Fund grants supported 16 initiatives including the Roof of England 100 service bus on weekends through the summer between Alston and Crook, the North Pennines Walking Festival, education visits for children to discover the wildlife of the North Pennines and electric bike hire at the Appleby Manor Hotel.
This year we devised and launched the Pendlebury Award. The award is named in memory of the late Bob Pendlebury OBE, who was one of the leading advocates of the North Pennines and an unswerving champion of its protection. Bob was the first Chairman of the AONB Partnership (and its predecessor bodies) following the confirmation of its designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in June 1988.
- After running an open competition to find a local maker to design a bespoke award worthy of becoming the Pendlebury Award we appointed the commission to Brampton-base sculptor Kirsty Armstrong. One of Bob’s daughters helped us select the winning design.
- The inaugural award attracted a total of four nominations:
- Paul Bassindale – for his volunteer work with the Brampton and District Red Squirrel Group.
- Dr Margaret Bradshaw – for her championing of the flora of Upper Teesdale.
- June Crosby – for her considerable contribution to the life and landscape of Weardale.
- Brian Young – for his contribution to furthering the understanding of the geological heritage of the North Pennines.
- Members of the AONB Partnership voted for the nominees and the winner was Dr Margaret Bradshaw.
- The award was presented to Margaret by Bob’s grandson, Ross Thompson, and the current Chair of the AONB Partnership, Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, at the Anniversary Forum on the 7 June 2013 – 25 years to the day since the designation of the North Pennines as an AONB.
- In future years the award will be presented to a new winner by the previous year’s winner – in a symbolic relay.
Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme
- Securing funding for the Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership scheme will allow us to implement the good work done to shape community-led interpretation which celebrates local history, culture and landscape, develop community businesses and support initiatives such as community wood fuel projects.