The world’s climate is changing.
Species, habitats, economies and communities in protected landscapes like the North Pennines AONB are vulnerable to changes in climate. More than ever, there is a need to plan for climate change in our management of natural resources.
Green to the core!
The AONB Partnership holds a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) for its corporate offices and tourism activities. This environmental accreditation reflects the work done by its Staff Unit to improve its environmental credentials. The AONB Partnership’s Environmental Policy lists some of the actions and initiatives that the Staff Unit is doing to support the landscape of the North Pennines and to reduce its environmental impacts.
These measures include a clear travel choice policy and locally offsetting all the carbon generated through the necessary travel of staff. We also seek to offset travel carbon generated at seminars and meetings organised by the Staff Unit through work with local communities.
Landscapes like the North Pennines AONB have a vital role to play in mitigating against the effects of climate change. The North Pennines AONB Partnership is undertaking a number of significant projects and areas of work that will play a role in combating the negative effects of extreme changes in climate:
Through its Peatland Programme, the AONB Partnership is leading on the restoration and conservation of peat habitats, which are a huge carbon sink.
The Peatland Programme aims to block over 1 million metres of moorland drains which will restore over 4,000 hectares of blanket bog, playing a vital role in retaining the carbon held in the vast peat habitats of the area.
Living North Pennines
The AONB Partnership’s Living North Pennines project has created extensive new areas of native woodland with the planting of 500,000 trees. This new, permanent woodland is a store of carbon and importantly a key element in flood reduction.
In time these new woodlands could potentially become a source of sustainable fuel.
The Partnership promotes sustainable tourism and has played a key role in encouraging tourism businesses to join the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). To enter this green awards scheme businesses need to demonstrate that they are: minimising their impact on the environment; communicating their green credentials to their customers; and having a positive impact on their surroundings.
Through its Sustainable Development Fund and Small Grant Scheme, the AONB Partnership has encouraged and funded a broad range of renewable energy, environmental improvements and waste minimisation schemes in organisations and businesses across the area, including, micro-hydro schemes, sustainable water use systems and solar energy systems. The AONB Partnership supports the sensitive use of small-scale renewable energy systems within the North Pennines.
How you can help
There are many ways that we can all reduce our impact on the environment. Addressing climate change is an obvious way to start, whether it is simply walking or cycling on short journeys in preference to driving, or, perhaps investing in a sustainable energy system.
There is excellent information provided by a wide range of organisations to help you in assessing and addressing individual impacts. A good place to start is at the Environment and greener living pages on Direct.gov
Often there will be small, relatively inexpensive changes you could make, such as considering the need to travel, using low energy lighting and more effectively insulating your home.
When exploring the North Pennines please be a green visitor.