Landscapes for Life
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes.
The Wye Valley AONB Unit, the small team of dedicated staff based in Monmouth, carry out collaborative projects, working closely with organisations, communities and individuals. Below is a selection of our current projects, and for past projects click here.
With our partners, we run projects that help to conserve and enhance the AONB’s cultural and natural heritage, covering:
The SDF is Welsh Government-funded, but we do have a separate AONB Fund for the English part of the AONB. So if you have an idea for a project that will help conserve or enhance our landscape and natural beauty, and/or enjoyment and appreciation of it, do get in touch. We may be able to help you develop your proposal, find funding or partners to help to turn your ideas into reality.
We manage and host this major festival celebrating nature, culture, landscape and life in the Wye Valley AONB. The 2020 festival with its theme of ‘Time’ was completely re-imagined from its usual community event base to almost entirely digital. The festival screened live in September and we will continue to share the extraordinary, beautiful, curious, inspiring, educational, poetic and musical content over the coming months.
We’ve adopted a catchment-scale approach to natural flood management (NFM) in this AONB-led project, funded previously by Natural Resources Wales and the Environment Agency. Working with farmers, landowners and land managers, we are focussing on a number of small catchments in the lower Wye Valley (Welsh and English sides) – the Angidy, Cat Brook, White Brook and Valley Brook – to help our river ecosystems and our local communities become more resilient as our climate becomes more wet and stormy.
This project captures people’s feelings, fears and hopes as they live through the pandemic in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Monmouth-based photographer and film maker Emma Drabble has been documenting the impact of Covid-19 on rural lives and businesses, revealing an incredible web of human spirit in the face of adversity.
We co-ordinate the Wye Valley Walk Partnership that looks after this wonderful 136-mile long-distance trail, and we also look after the series of fabulous easy-access walks found along the trail and manage the Cicerone guide and passport. We are hoping to revitalise the trail and guide in 2021-22.
We’ve just received funding to run a short riparian tree management project and will be working with landowners, including Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, on the main river and sub-catchments to raise awareness of the importance of and techniques in riparian tree management.