The AONB Family is represented at national level by the National Association for AONBs.
This page provides a summary of our work in this area during the 2013-14 financial year.
The small team at the National Association for AONBs (NAAONBs) focuses on advocacy and policy, training, communications and fostering collaboration. Though there is a small team, the NAAONB is really all of the AONB Partnerships/Conservation Boards acting together.
- We continued our role within the IUCN UK Peatland Programme and have a pilot project for the UK Peatland Code within the AONB
- Our ‘Hay Time’ project received national recognition and was cited as a case example in the Defra tookit, ‘Engaging People in Biodiversity Issues’
- Within our team we continued to have a significant role in national and international work, be it through active engagement in NAAONB activity, or through the IUCN Peatland Progamme, Europarc or the Global Geoparks Network
Some of our achievements this year:
National Association for AONBs (NAAONBs)
The NAAONB is:
- an influential, trusted organisation that is seen as the voice of the AONB Family
- an organisation that encourages and harnesses the collective experience, enthusiasm and goodwill of the AONB Family
- an organisation that brings the AONB Family together as a cohesive entity
- an organisation that celebrates the unique identity of its individual members, and
- an organisation that works with others to achieve shared objectives.
- The support of, and support for, the NAAONB, is vital to our future prosperity as individual AONB Partnerships and as a Protected Landscape family in the UK.
- Secured a 0% cut to English AONB partnerships’ Defra funding in 2015-16 leading to more financial stability for the Partnerships and Conservation Boards
- Created opportunities for the AONB Family to come together to share good practice and key messages, including a national Chairmen’s Conference to discuss ‘The Value of AONB Partnerships’ Report and priorities for the NAAONB, and a national Landscapes for Life Conference with over 120 delegates, including the Minister.
- Secured recognition by the IUCN UK Committee of Category V status, thereby ensuring international relevance of the AONB designation and enhancing grant aid opportunities at a local level.
- Organised the Future Landscapes Collaboration Programme which has addressed national issues that impact on all AONBs by bringing together the collective understanding and expertise that exists in the AONB teams.
- The programme has left a lasting legacy of ongoing behavioural change that will better position AONB staff to collaborate effectively.
- The North Pennines AONB Partnership Director continued his role on the Board of the NAAONB and further supported NAAONB activity in his role as both Collaboration and Conference portfolio holder.
- We continue to work with the IUCN UK Peatland Programme to push for peatland positive policies in the UK and the EU.
- We helped develop, resource, and launch the IUCN ‘Global Peatland Restoration’ Booklet which was released in Brussels in spring 2014.
- The AONB Partnership’s Director met DECC and Defra Ministers to discuss the importance of peatlands to society.
- We are working with Defra to support the UK Peatland Code and have a pilot project site in the North Pennines AONB.
Hay meadow work
- The work of our hay meadow conservation project, Hay Time, has received national recognition and is cited as a case example in the defra tookit ‘Engaging People in Biodiversity Issues’ (http://engageinbiodiversity.org/motivate.html)
- We have established a seed-collecting partnership with the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew’s Wakehurst place. Hand gathered seed from North Pennines species such as globe flower and great burnet are now being both stored and grown on in plots for use in future conservation and restoration projects (http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/millennium-seed-bank)
- The AONB Partnership continued its work as part of the Global Geoparks Network.
- Collaboration with three Geoparks on the EU funded ‘HINT’ project led to new touchscreen displays at Bowlees.
- A Leonardo project began, with two other Geoparks, which focusses on sharing expertise between those involved in environmental education.
The Global Geoparks Network is closer than ever to formal recognition by UNESCO and during 2015 it is anticipated that for the first time the North Pennines will be officially a ‘UNESCO Global Geopark’ under a new ‘Geosciences and Geoparks Programme’.
Paul Leadbitter, Peatland Programme Manager, took up a position on the Board of Europarc Atlantic Isles.