Landscapes for Life
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes.
The AONB Unit is the staff team, based in Monmouth, that carry out collaborative projects and partnership initiatives, working with a wide range of organisations and individuals in and around the Wye Valley AONB.
We operate as a cross-border co-ordinating body, engaging with local communities, landowners and other partners to advise on, develop and deliver both localised projects and AONB wide and landscape-scale initiatives.
Andrew Blake – AONB Manager
Sharon Seymour – Finance & Administration Officer
Sarah Sawyer – Community Links Officer
Nick Critchley – Development Officer
Ruth Waycott – Information Officer
Nickie Moore – Lower Wye Project Officer
Ben Nott – Wye Catchment Advisor (with Wye & Usk Foundation)
Rebecca Meredith – Wye Catchment Advisor (with Wye & Usk Foundation)
We report to the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and are employed on behalf of the AONB Partnership by the local authorities, Herefordshire Council, Monmouthshire County Council and Forest of Dean District Council. The Wye Catchment Advisors are employed by the Wye & Usk Foundation.
The core budget for the AONB Unit is approximately £300,000 per annum. This consists of grant aid from DEFRA and Natural Resources Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Government, with match funding contributions from Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Herefordshire Council and Monmouthshire County Council (these organisations also constitute the Wye Valley AONB Steering Group). Herefordshire Council is the treasurer for the AONB Unit.
We also bid for additional funding for specific projects and initiatives from a variety of other sources. For example, in the past we have secured: Big Lottery Fund support for the mindSCAPE project, Visit Wales and the Arts Councils of England and Wales supported our Wye Valley River Festival and the Heritage Lottery Fund provided £1.9m towards the £3.1m Overlooking the Wye Landscape Partnership Scheme.