East Devon leads way in AONB project

Communities across East Devon will help shape its future while protecting its past in a new scheme funded by English Heritage.

The district’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is launching a project to help parishes identify methods to conserve and enhance their historic sites.

It will also provide councils with information, such as existing assessments and records, to help shape any future neighbourhood they may consider developing.

East Devon is leading the way with the pilot scheme, which could be rolled out across other AONBs across the country.

Project manager Chris Woodruff said: “We have a rich historic environment in East Devon and a strong record of community working that we wish to build on.

“The funding from English Heritage is timely in this, our 50th Anniversary year, and at a time when our historic environment is under increasing pressure.”

He added: “We hope to develop approaches that other AONBs and bodies can learn from and, if appropriate, mimic.

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“Most of all we are looking forward to seeing the work translate into action for heritage at the community level.”

The project will build on recent Heritage Lottery Fund community heritage projects, such as ‘Parishscapes’ and ‘In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson’.