Welcome to our Annual Review for 2013-14.
It’s been another year of successful activity for the AONB Partnership’s Staff Team, despite the many pressures that they, and all similar organisations across the country, are under. I’m always delighted by the breadth and quality of the work, from the Landscape Partnership Schemes, to the peatland and hay meadows programmes, to WildWatch and the Altogether Archaeology project.
There’s lots of work that goes less heralded that’s just as important – the input we make to local tourism development and marketing, the communications role of the team, the input to the planning system, the skills training projects and the back-office effort on things like finance management – all this is part of the overall work of what I believe to be one of the most successful AONB teams in the country.
The decline in our Defra funding has been gradual but it’s now really having an impact, so I’m very pleased that our five local authority partners have held their funding at the same level for several years. Their continued support is vital for all aspects of the Partnership’s work, and the return on investment is significant.
There will be new challenges in 2014-15 but we have to keep on being creative, building new partnerships, devising new programmes and diversifying our income streams so that we can do our core business – conserving and enhancing natural beauty in the North Pennines.
It’s a pleasure to introduce this annual review. I hope you find much in these pages that chimes with your own vision for the North Pennines. If you’re not involved in our work already, through the many opportunities for volunteering and practical activity, or simply coming along on our events, we’d love to see you in the coming year.
Cllr Eddie Tomlinson
North Pennines AONB Partnership