Proposed Conservation Board

Our two Councils and the Partnership made in November 2016 a formal proposal to Defra to create a Conservation Board for the Shropshire Hills AONB, and resubmitted this in August 2017 after Ministerial guidance was issued.

In March we met Lord Gardiner, Defra Minister, and learned that since a national review of National Parks and AONBs has been included in Defra’s recent 25 Year Environment Plan, there will be no move to create a Conservation Board ahead of that review.

The review is to look at coverage of designations, delivery mechanisms and financing, and the Minister described an ‘upward trajectory’, seeking to improve benefits from the designated areas rather than curtail them. This may come up with new or amended structures for AONBs.

The AONB Partnership had looked at other potential models for an independent structure, but since these are untested among AONBs in England and Wales, the Partnership has decided not to pursue these further.

Until the national review is completed, the Partnership will therefore remain within the current model of hosting by Shropshire Council, and seek to optimise this arrangement for the benefit of the AONB.


Further information is available in the documents for download below:

Summary leaflet

Business Case submitted to Defra, August 2017

Councils’ and AONB Partnership letters to Defra, Nov 2016

Business Case submitted to Defra, Nov 2016

News item, 21 October 2016 – Delivering a better future for the AONB

News item, 19 October 2016 – Proposed independent Board for the AONB


To discuss this please contact Phil Holden on 01743 254741 or