New series of free short guided walks! (14/05/19)

The South Devon AONB Unit is organising a special series of short walks in Kingsbridge, as part of Connecting Actively with Nature,  a Devon wide project  which has secured  funding through the National Lottery, from Sport England.

Starting on 4th June, the short walks  will help participants to discover  the wildlife on the Kingsbridge  estuary in a series of 10 minute easy strolls to take in the view  and study the wildlife, followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.   The walks which will take place every  Wednesday during June and July, will be led by Project Officer Adam, who is a keen birder and knowledgeable about all sorts of animals, and plants that might be spotted during the stroll.

Explorer 2019 brochure (28/03/19)

The 2019 AONB  'Explorer' magazine is out with lots of information and ideas on getting out and about in this fantastic landscape with information on walking, cyling and watersports.

Kate Farmery, local Head of Business for The Box - a major new cultural attraction for the SW opening in Plymouth in 2020, has been interviewed about what she values about the AONB.

There is a page focussing on shopping for local food, discovering local heritage and details on transport and holiday activites.

The magazine also includes details of events taking place in South Devon AONB unitl the end of October. Copies available from local Information Centres.

Special qualities exhibit (28/02/19)

Artwork from Thurlestone Primary School has recently been featured in the ever popular Primary Colours exhibtion at the Harbour Gallery in Kingsbridge. The  gallery was filled with exuberant, expressive and thoughtful artworks from local primary schools. This artwork created by pupils from Thurlestone was part of our Heritage Lottery Funded 'What Makes South Devon Special' campaign examining the 'Special Qualities' of South Devon AONB. It focussed on one of these qualities - 'A wild and rugged coastline'

Discover map leaflet (27/02/19)

A new edition of the AONB free map leaflet has been published. Whatever your mode of transport, this handy guide is a great way to find your way around the AONB and to identify ideas for exploring the protected landscape. It includes the locations of circular walks and details of transport options in and around the area. It also signposts to key AONB news and events.

Copies of the leaflet are available from local information centres.

Landscapes review meeting with Lord Cameron (13/02/19)

We were pleased to have the opportunity last month to meet with Lord Cameron of Dillington who is part of the Landscapes  Review Panel. Its aim is to assess  whether the protections for National Parks and AONBs are still fit for purpose. In particular, what might be done better, what changes will help and if the definitions and systems in place are still valid.

We had a morning of useful discussions about the good value that AONBs offer. One request was to ensure parity between AONBs and National Parks through the alignment of statutory purposes, specifically to include for AONBs ‘wildlife and cultural heritage’ and to add the promotion of understanding and enjoyment of their area’s special qualities as a subsidiary purpose.

Sign up for Sea Moor Lottery to help the AONB (04/02/19)

South Devon AONB is signed up as a good cause with the weekly SeaMoor lotto operated by South Hams District Council. The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership needs your help to continue caring for your local area and ensure the designation really delivers for you. The cost of each ticket is £1 and 50% of the ticket price is donated to the good cause. The draw  takes place every Saturday night with results are  posted at , Facebook and Twitter.  Good luck

Devon Countryside Access Forum seeks new members (15/01/19)

The Devon Countryside Access Forum is a statutory local access forum under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  It has seventeen members who advise on the “improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area..”  The Forum gives independent advice to a number of Government bodies in addition to Devon County Council, district and borough councils and parish and town councils.

Devon County Council is currently appointing members to the Forum and would welcome applications from anyone with an interest in recreational access.

South Devon Estuaries volunteer survey of feral Pacific oyster populations (05/12/18)

It’s difficult to be positive about Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) and especially with marine INNS, it is nearly all about prevention rather than cure. As there are many unknowns, we have to take a precautionary approach to how damaging INNS can be.

In partnership with Natural England, we are setting up local volunteer groups to help  survey the populations of the feral Pacific oysters in South Devon. If you would like to help, please get in touch with Nigel Mortimer AONB Estuaries Officer   01803 861384

Students work showcased in AONB photo exhibition at the Ariel Centre (04/12/18)

King Edward Sixth Community College Totnes students work, will feature in a South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty multimedia exhibition at the Ariel Centre in Totnes from 10th to 21st December.

The work was produced as part of the What Makes South Devon Special campaign supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Students participated in tutored photo days on site at Bearscombe Farm,  Slapton and Start Point alongside professional photographers Phil Hemsley, Jo Bradford and Beccy Strong. A number of the photos they took were shortlisted in the AONB photo competition.

The project focussed on the distinctive character of the natural heritage which makes up this nationally important landscape.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty get a boost from the National Lottery (13/11/18)

As part of the Future Landscapes Project, conducted by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB), a cohort of 40 AONB staff is taking part in a nationwide professional and personal development programme designed to help ensure the UK’s outstanding national landscapes are conserved and enhanced for future generations.  This has been made possible by the National Lottery funding received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in the form of a £164,300 Resilient Heritage grant. Both Roger English - Manager and Nicky Bailey - Community Projects Officer have been selected to participate from  the South Devon AONB team

Explorer Monty Halls presents prizes to AONB Photo competition winners (23/10/18)

Explorer Monty Halls presented the prizes for the South Devon AONB Photo Competition at a special event held at The Flavel in Dartmouth on 22nd October 2018.  The competition that attracted 200 entries was part of the heritage lottery funded  ‘What Makes South Devon Special’ campaign which has been running since April. The project has focussed on the Special Qualities of the protected landscape with a series of walks focussing on specific themes, events, work with primary schools and A level photography students. Monty Halls said that despite his extensive travels  South Devon could not be rivalled for its natural beauty describing it as “paradise on earth.”

S Devon AONB response to Planning Policy consultation (18/07/18)

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was first introduced in 2012. It brought together around 1,000 pages of planning policy and guidance into a single document of 59 pages, and established a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’.

The Government consulted on a revised NPPF earlier this year and the South Devon AONB and the National Association for AONBs have both responded to the consultation.

South Devon Farmers group discuss post Brexit issues with Defra Minister (10/07/18)

The Avon Valley Facilitation group  coordinated by the South Devon AONB Unit  welcomed Farming Minister George Eustice MP to a meeting of over 50 farmers at Holsome Park, Diptford near Totnes. Farming Minister George Eustice said: “As one of the largest facilitation groups in the country, Avon Valley is a brilliant example of how famers can work together to protect the landscape. Farmers and land managers are playing a key role in keeping South Devon productive, while ensuring a united commitment to protect and improve our natural environment”.