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:

Carding Mill Valley taken by Dave CowellA broad Partnership

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 is currently running the River Clun Recovery Project.

It is also in the process of renewing its Sustainable Tourism Charter having recently published a new Sustainable Tourism Strategy on behalf of the area’s Destination Partnership.

We also work with the AONB Trust to run the Friends of the Shropshire Hills AONB group to enable people to support and get involved. Other organisations also have a range of volunteering opportunities in the Shropshire Hills area.

The AONB Trust has taken over responsibility for the small grants scheme, the AONB Conservation Fund, for which the AONB team still provide support as the point of contact.

We are involved in a range of area-based initiatives with other partners.