Launch of Farming in Protected Landscapes programme

New funding for climate, nature and people in the nation’s special landscapes

News release from: Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership, Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership, Lake District National Park Authority, North Pennines AONB Partnership, Solway Coast AONB, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Northumberland National Park, Northumberland Coast AONB.

Farmers and land managers in England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) will be given grants to make improvements to the natural environment, cultural heritage and public access.

The three-year programme, Farming in Protected Landscapes, was announced today by Government, and will be open to farmers and land managers to support nature recovery, mitigate the effects of climate change, and provide ways for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape.

In this area, the funding available for projects in National Parks and AONBs in the first year comprises:

  • Arnside and Silverdale AONB – £132,509
  • Forest of Bowland AONB – £864,635
  • Lake District National Park – £1,041,000
  • North Pennines AONB – £1,150,000
  • Northumberland Coast AONB – £160,000
  • Northumberland National Park – £395,000
  • Solway Coast AONB – £141,000
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park – £1,211,159

National Parks and AONBs are living, working landscapes that support communities and businesses, but are also home to a huge range of habitats and species. They are also places that are enjoyed by millions of visitors and residents every year. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme will fund a range of projects to help look after these areas.

The programme will provide funding for one-off projects which allow farmers and land managers in protected landscapes to:

  • support nature recovery – such as increasing habitats to improve biodiversity or greater connectivity between habitats
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change – such as reducing flood risk or storing more carbon
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • support nature-friendly and sustainable farm businesses

In each area, projects will be assessed by a local panel to ensure they provide value for money, a legacy from the work, and meet at least one of the scheme’s outcomes, for people, nature, climate or place. Projects should also meet at least one of the aims of the Management Plan for the relevant National Park or AONB.

Projects to help to mitigate the effects of climate change might include measures to reduce flood risk through natural flood management, or by taking action to reduce a farm’s carbon emissions. Action for nature recovery might include land being improved for wildlife, by creating new habitats or by changing the way land is managed to deliver better results for nature.

Other eligible projects can focus on ‘place’, improving the quality and character of the landscape. These might be restoring and maintaining some of the landscape features and historic assets that make our National Parks and AONBs so distinctive.

Helping people to enjoy and understand the landscape is a priority, and this programme will support projects including those that provide more opportunities for people to access and explore AONBs and National Parks.

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme will run from 2021 to 2024, and proposals are invited from 1 July 2021. Further information can be obtained by contacting your local AONB or National Park team. The funding is for one-off projects and is not an agri-environment scheme. Receiving funding from this programme will not prevent farmers or land managers from participating in the emerging Environmental Land Management Schemes, and projects on land within existing stewardship agreements can be funded provided they are additional to the current agreement.


Notes to editors


North Pennines AONB Partnership: Sarah Hudspeth, Communications Lead, / 07768 123247

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority: Andrew Fagg, Media Officer, / 01969 652374

Lake District National Park Authority: Sarah Burrows, PR Officer, 07771 541376,

Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership: Caroline Howard, Funding & Communications Officer, / 01524 761034

Solway Coast AONB: Naomi Kay, AONB Manager, / 07880 565 640

Forest of Bowland AONB: Elliott Lorimer, AONB Manager / 07775 221208


Contacts and details about Farming in Protected Landscapes are available at:

Arnside and Silverdale AONB 

Forest of Bowland AONB –

Lake District National Park –

North Pennines AONB

Solway Coast

Yorkshire Dales National Park


An image from each Protected Landscape is available at


  • The North Pennines is one of England’s most special places – a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty. It was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988. The purpose of this nationally recognised designation is the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the area. At almost 2,000 sq. kilometres the North Pennines is the second largest of the 46 AONBs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt places in England. The North Pennines AONB Partnership is an alliance of 24 public, statutory and voluntary sector bodies with an interest in the future of the AONB. The work of the Partnership is carried out by its Staff Unit which takes action to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, to raise awareness of its special qualities and to improve the quality of life for local people. The North Pennines lies between the National Parks of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and Northumberland with the urban centres of County Durham away to the east. Parts of the AONB are within the boundaries of five local authorities; the three counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council. As well as being an AONB the North Pennines is a UNESCO Global Geopark. This puts the area’s Geopark status in the same UNESCO family as World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. UNESCO Global Geoparks are places with outstanding geology where special effort is made to make the most of geological heritage to support community and economy.
  • More information about the Lake District National Park can be found on our website In July 2017 the Lake District National Park was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in the cultural landscape category. The Lake District is one of 15 National Parks. The others are: Brecon Beacons, the Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Loch Lomond and Trossachs, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, the Yorkshire Dales, the Broads, the New Forest and the South Downs.
  • Arnside & Silverdale AONB was designated in 1972 and covers an area of approximately 75km2in south Cumbria and north Lancashire, including around 30km2 of intertidal sand and mudflats in the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay. Arnside & Silverdale AONB is especially celebrated for its distinctive limestone landscape, magnificent views and extraordinary diversity of wildlife. Low limestone hills, limestone pavements, ancient woodlands, mosses, orchards, meadows and pastures and an impressive coastline, along with a rich cultural history, make this a truly special place. The intricate nature of many parts of the area and an exceptional variety of special features occurring in such a small place, creates a sense of intimacy and discovery. This fine-grained landscape character then contrasts in every way with the vast openness of adjacent Morecambe Bay. Sustainable farming and land management practices are essential to conserving and enhancing the area. The AONB Partnership is the body that exists to protect this special place. This partnership is made up of local authorities, interest groups, national agencies and local communities, all of which are committed to ensuring that the Arnside & Silverdale area remains a healthy, living landscape for future generations.
  • The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of 15 National Parks in the UK. It is administered by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, which has two main purposes: “to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage” and “to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park”. In carrying out these purposes, the Authority has a duty “to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities”. The National Park Authority comprises 25 members, made up of county and district councillors and members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment to represent parishes or in recognition of their specialist skills or knowledge. All of our work is guided by the vision for the future of the National Park set out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan: “Through their passion for this special place, local people and businesses will keep the Yorkshire Dales National Park a thriving area. Its unique cultural landscape will be treasured for its stunning scenery, exceptional heritage and wonderful wildlife, and every year millions of people will be inspired to be a part of it.”
  • The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The distinctive character and natural beauty of the Solway Coast makes it one of the most special and cherished places in England. Stretching along 59km of coastline from the River Esk near Rockcliffe to Maryport in West Cumbria, the AONB is a unique and varied landscape with a rich array of wildlife and habitats as well as a long and fascinating historical legacy. Together with National Parks, AONBs are recognised internationally to be managed in the interest of everyone- local residents, businesses, visitors and the wider public- and protected for future generations. Visit to find out more and about exploring and discovering the Solway Coast AONB.
  • The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Forest of Bowland was designated as an AONB in 1964.  The AONB legislation (National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000) was designed to protect areas of unspoiled natural beauty for future generations. 13% of the AONB is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its extensive habitats of wet and dry heathland, particularly heather moor and blanket bog. A major part of the AONB’s fells is designated as a Special Protection Area under the European Birds Directive. The Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) – informally the Forest of Bowland Partnership – guides the management of the AONB.  Lancashire County Council acts as the lead authority alongside County, District, Parish, land owning and farming community, environmental and recreational partners.

More about the programme

Visit our web pages on Farming in Protected Landscapes to find out more about the programme and how to apply.

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