Photo courtesy BBC Spotlight
South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) joined other AONBs across the country to create a heart in the landscape on 21st September. The initiative marked the start of Landscapes for Life week and the 70th anniversary of the legislation which created AONBs and National Parks.
The heart was ploughed in a field at the iconic coastal location of South Down Farm Malborough by kind permission of the National Trust. It was surrounded by tractors from the last 70 yers with a 1949 Fordson and a 2019 Massey Ferguson on either side of the tip of the heart. Members of the South Hams Vintage Machinery Club turned up in force and choreographed the arrangement with a vintage Combine Harvester placed at the top pf the heart.
South Devon AONB Patron Jonathan Dimbleby joined the AONB Partnership Committee and representatives from various partner organisations for the National Moment as the heart was filmed by a drone. Jonathan Dimbleby read the poem especially commissioned by the National Association of AONBs from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage entitled 'Fugitvies'
The National Moment was marked to demonstrate how much people love and care for these special landscapes. The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act the year after the National Health Service was about creating a Natural Health Service, that would look after physical mental and emotional wellbeing by being outside.
The Designated Landscape review report commissioned by then Secretary of State Michael Gove and led by Julian Glover was also released on the 21st September.
Nicky Bailey AONB Communities Officer commented "The landscape has changed significantly over the last 70 years but without the protection the Act afforded the landscape of South Devon and other parts of the county would look very different. We are delighted that so many of our partner organisations could join us today together with our Patron to celebrate this anniversary. It is very timely that the Glover Review has also reported today."
Jonathan Dimbleby said " This review has the potential to be ground breaking for AONBs with the establishment of a "National Landscapes Service" a stronger vision to connect people to the countryside, nature recovery and expanding volunteering opportunities. AONBs will need to keep the pressure up to deliver the Review."