Landscape is about the relationship between people and place; the interaction between nature and culture.
This 20 year Vision for the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was included in the Wye Valley AONB Management Plan 2009-14 and it remains a true encapsulation of how we want the AONB to be in 15 years’ time and beyond:-
The Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be a landscape
• that continues to evoke inspiration in a wide range of people
• where some degree of change is accepted and its impacts accommodated through positive management including effective adaptation to and mitigation of climate change
• where the distinctive mix of steep valley sides and rolling hills, covered with ancient and semi-natural woodland, mixed farmland, and scattered settlement dominate the landscape along with the meandering river
• where the natural and historic assets are in good order, in fully compatible uses, and not denigrated by unsuitable change
• with a robust mosaic of inter-connected semi natural habitats for native wildlife, particularly around grassland, wetland and woodland
• providing functioning services and resources for society, including flood storage, food, timber, tourism and minerals
• which provides work for local people, who make good use of the varied resources the area has to offer
• where both visitors and residents are able to enjoy the area, particularly for sustainable tourism, recreation and informed appreciation of the historic and natural environment, with minimal conflict or disturbance from other users
• where association with the Wye Valley continues to benefit the surrounding villages, market towns and counties
• supported by the good will, pride and endeavour of local people, visitors, and the public, private and voluntary sectors
• worthy of its designation as an internationally important protected landscape.
This Vision and the AONB Management Plan directs a strong partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations, called the AONB Partnership, who are committed to working effectively to achieve ways that not only sustain the area’s natural beauty and enable people to continue to enjoy it, but also to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in the AONB. The AONB Partnership consists of the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and the AONB Unit, supported by the Technical Officers Working Party (TOWP) and various Topic Groups, which draw in wider interests. This structure has proved remarkably effective and resilient.
We are fortunate in the Wye Valley AONB that the area benefits from a tremendous amount of ‘goodwill’. Agreement on common interests and aims, and working together to achieve these aims between all these different interests, is the only way to successfully progress the conservation and enhancement of this internationally important Protected Landscape.
Esther and Henry Rudge, of Ballingham Court Farm, have been presented with the Wye Valley AONB Farming Award trophy for the third time, at the Monmoouthshire Show.