The AONB Partnership
Most of the work of conserving the landscape is carried out by landowners in the area, and a wide variety of organisations. The AONB designation adds:
A legal duty to fulfil the AONB’s purposes rests with two authorities, who act jointly in a formal structure called the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership. Other members include conservation bodies, landowner and community representatives, and interests such as recreation and tourism.
An agreed strategy
The AONB Management Plan is reviewed every five years and is a statutory document.
A staff team
The AONB Partnership’s staff undertake projects, advise, support and help to co-ordinate the work of others, influence policy and raise awareness.
The AONB Partnership does not own or manage any land directly.
The main mechanism for protecting AONBs directly is through planning. AONBs in England and Wales have equal landscape value and protection to National Parks, but planning decisions remain with the local authorities. Public bodies are legally required to ‘have regard to the purposes of AONBs in carrying out their functions’ (Section 85, Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000). In recognition that the landscape needs active management as well as protection, AONBs also receive funding for conservation. This includes specific funding for AONB Partnerships, as well as targeting by other schemes such as farm conservation grants.
The AONB Partnership currently runs a grant scheme and a range of projects:
- Shropshire Hills AONB Conservation Fund
- River Clun Recovery Project
- Sustainable Tourism Charter
- Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Network
We are involved in a range of area-based initiatives with other partners.