Latest AONB News
Thank-you for your support...
It was wonderful to meet so many residents of the AONB, and visitors at the recent Cranborne Chase Woodfair. At many points throughout the weekend, the AONB tent was packed with folk finding out about the AONB Partnership, the newly formed Cranborne Chase Landscape Trust, and chatting to AONB staff about what we do, and how we are doing it!
The centrepiece of the tent was the huge AONB map, 'The AONB in 40 Objects' with each object representing something that the AONB does.
Cranborne Chase Landscape Trust
The newly formed Landscape Trust has been set up to inspire everyone with an interest in the Cranborne Chase AONB to get involved in the conservation and enhancement of this special landscape.
The trust seeks to raise funds for landscape and wildlife conservation projects, manage a small projects grant fund and establish and manage the ‘Cranborne Chase Volunteers’. In addition, it will raise awareness and understanding of the AONB through the development of an events programme, and educational projects.
Working in partnership with others to manage land and property for landscape and wildlife is crucial to the AONB, and the Trust will also be helping to create a ‘Countryside Centre’ for the AONB.
Find out more on the Cranborne Chase Landscape Trust Website.
Foundations of Archaeology
Emma Rouse was also on hand to talk to those interested in the Foundations of Archaeology project. The project celebrates the work of the pioneering archaeologists who first identified the rich upland archaeology of south Wiltshire and north east Dorset.
It will train up volunteers to help further investigate and evaluate archaeological sites centred on three focus areas associated with these pioneers.
Campaign for International Dark Sky Reserve status
Bob Mizon, the well-known Dorset astronomer, and a member of the British Astronomical Association was on hand to promote the AONB's campaign to gain International Dark Sky Reserve status. Bob's passion for our incredible dark night skies with its amazing stars and planets was clear for all to see over the weekend.
Dark night skies are one of the very special qualities of the Cranborne Chase AONB. National data continues to show the general loss of dark night skies across the country and an increasing risk of light pollution across the AONB. There are currently only two other areas in England that have been formally recognised for their low levels of light pollution, namely Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve and Northumberland Dark Sky Park. With your help Cranborne Chase AONB could be the third!
Heart of Wessex
It was great to team up again with Sarah Dyke-Bracher at the Heart of Wessex Local Action Group. The Heart of Wessex LEADER Programme is run by a Local Action Group comprising people from land-based business, commerce, public and community sectors in the area. The Local Action Group sets the priority themes and makes the grant decisions.
Find out more on the Heart of Wessex Website.
Farmland Conservation Project
Tracy Adams was on hand over the weekend promoting the South Wiltshire Farmland Conservation Project. This aims to bring together groups of neighbouring farmers in 'clusters' to carry out environmental work at a much larger scale than previously, when it focused on individual farms.
In addition to the Farm Conservation Project Tracy explained her current work to deliver benefits for wildlife along the Wessex Water Corfe Mullen to Salisbury Pipeline Route, with continued funding from Wessex Water. See the Farmland Conservation Project page for more info.
Sustainable Rural Tourism
The Sustainable Rural Tourism Project is an exciting new initiative covering the Nadder Valley Area (all villages to the South of the A303 and north of the A30) and the Chalke Valley (from Salisbury in the east across to Shaftesbury, in the west - a beautiful and largely undiscovered area with over 20 picturesque villages along the Rivers Chalke and Ebble).
It is planned to roll it out across the whole of the AONB in the future. It aims to work in partnership with a range of visitor related businesses and key organisations to encourage sustainable tourism to the Nadder Valley area, benefitting rural businesses and the local economy as a whole.
Finally, a huge THANK-YOU to Clive Whitbourn and Lucy Evershed of the National Trust, who carried out some fabulous childrens activities in the AONB tent. They were clearly a huge success if any of the children's smiles and laughter were anything to go by!