New plans for managing Devon's landscapes

PUBLISHED: 10:13 19 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:01 17 June 2010

PEOPLE across Devon are being urged to have their say on how the county's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are looked after in future.

PEOPLE across Devon are being urged to have their say on how the county's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are looked after in future.

Public consultation is currently being carried out on the management strategies of Devon's five AONBs, and comments are invited over the next month.

The purpose of AONBs is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape. Each area is managed through local partnerships and community engagement and the work is funded by Natural England, Devon County Council and the partner district councils.

The five year management strategies, which are currently being reviewed, guide the work of the partnerships, along with an annual action plan. The documents will influence the way the landscapes will be managed in the future and how communities and businesses can do their bit to live sustainably in such unique areas.

The management plans are prepared by the AONB Partnerships on behalf of the local councils and the partnerships are keen to receive the views of everyone who has an interest in these areas, from landowners to visitors.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "Our AONBs are a key part of the outstanding natural environment and coastlines in Devon of which we are all so proud. These management strategies are important documents looking at how our key landscapes and areas of important biodiversity will be looked after for the next five years but also how they can benefit the local economies and the people who live and work in the area. We are keen for the public to have their say and influence the shape of these plans."

Three of Devon's AONBs, East Devon, North Devon and South Devon, are wholly within the county, while two, Blackdown Hills and Tamar Valley, straddle the county boundary with Somerset and Cornwall respectively. AONBs have the same landscape value as National Parks and when combined these unique designated landscapes cover around 35% of the county.

The draft management strategies are available locally or by visiting the relevant AONB website.

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