What we do

The AONB Partnership and staff team

About us

The North Pennines AONB Partnership is an alliance of statutory agencies, local authorities and voluntary or community organisations which care about, and for, the area.

The AONB Partnership is the body responsible for co-ordinating efforts to conserve and enhance the North Pennines, and its work is carried out through the staff team employed through its accountable body, Durham County Council. The Partnership meets twice a year, to consider important issues related to conserving and enhancing natural beauty in the North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark. An Executive Group meets three times a year to provide support to the staff team on operational matters. The Partnership also holds an Annual Forum (see below).

Management plan

The work of the AONB Partnership and its staff team is guided by the North Pennines AONB Management Plan  This statutory plan is produced by the AONB Partnership on behalf of the area’s five local authorities – whose duty it is to jointly prepare.


Contact Chris Woodley-Stewart (North Pennines AONB Partnership Director) on 01388 528801 or chris@northpenninesaonb.org.uk for further information on the work of the AONB Partnership and the staff team.

Working groups

We have four Working Groups: Access and Recreation; TourismHistoric Environment; and the Geopark Advisory Group. These groups meet three or four times a year. Their purpose is to support project development and the implementation of the AONB Management Plan. They all have ‘Terms of Reference’ and are an important part of the AONB Partnership structure.

Annual Forum

The AONB Partnership’s Annual Forum is one of the ways we communicate with the wider community. The forum looks at issues important to our role of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the North Pennines. It is an opportunity to share information about the activities of the AONB Partnership and its staff team. It helps us to receive feedback, guidance and advice from the wider community. We invite a range of organisations and individuals, such as Parish Councils, members of the AONB Partnership and our four Working Groups, community groups, individuals, partner agencies, Local Authorities, and MPs.


The Chair of the AONB Partnership is Jan Simmonds (open seat member), and the vice-chair is Stephen Trotter (Cumbria Wildlife Trust). The Partnership includes representatives from the following organisations:

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