A legal duty to fulfil the AONB’s purposes rests with the local authorities, who act jointly in a formal structure called the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership. Other members of the Partnership include conservation bodies, landowner and community representatives, interests such as recreation and tourism, and individual members.
The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership plays three main roles:
- To take and co-ordinate action to conserve and enhance natural beauty, promote wellbeing, enjoyment and understanding, and further sustainable development.
- To develop policy and strategy for the area, especially through the AONB Management Plan, and to influence the policies and strategies of others.
- To support the involvement of the community in the management of the AONB.
A small staff team works on behalf of the AONB Partnership to help fulfil the roles above. The aim is to balance involvement at both grassroots and strategic levels, and the national importance of the area with local priorities. The broad remit covering landscape, biodiversity and heritage as well as influences such as economic activity, recreation and tourism means that supporting and advisory roles are important for the AONB Team as well as direct delivery.
The Partnership structure of the AONB is a particular strength and enables communication and understanding between many different interested parties, with the effect of reducing or avoiding potential conflict.
The AONB Partnership leads on preparation and monitoring of the statutory AONB Management Plan, but this is formally approved by the local authorities. It is a plan for the AONB as an area, not just a plan for the AONB Partnership as an organisation, and many organisations contribute to its delivery.
For further information on governance and activity of the AONB Partnership click below: