Special places matter to us. They give us a sense of belonging and peace. The Shropshire Hills have evolved through the interaction of people and nature over a long time to produce a character and quality which we value.
The vision for the Shropshire Hills AONB and co-ordinated action to conserve and enhance it is set out in a statutory Management Plan. Based on local partnership and consensus, the Plan seeks to guide and inspire action to meet the purposes of designation and apply local solutions to local challenges.
The Plan is prepared by the AONB Partnership on behalf of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council, and is reviewed every five years.
The landscape contributes greatly to the economy and to our health and culture. Food production needs soils and water, while our hills and woods help to manage flood risk. Nature and beautiful landscapes are good for our mental wellbeing and quality of life, provide a sense of identity, and attract business investment. To do this, they need actively looking after.
‘Natural beauty’ includes the influence of people. Nature provides the bones and the processes of our landscape, which is shaped by farmers and land managers, and enjoyed by many. Safeguarding the positive interaction between people and nature is vital to protecting and sustaining the AONB and its value.
The character and quality of the Shropshire Hills landscape are of high importance but under increasing pressure. The condition of some of the special qualities of the AONB is declining. Conservation activity through many schemes and projects is not enough to prevent some declines in wildlife. Not enough progress is being made with some water quality and catchment management targets. Farming, especially in the uplands, is at an important crossroads as we head towards new UK policy and funding regimes. Economic forces are increasing development pressure and reducing resources for positive management, leading to more deterioration of valuable features by neglect.
The 2019-24 Shropshire Hills AONB Management Plan sets out policies of the local authorities, and proposed actions for a wide variety of partners. It was approved by Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council in June 2019.