Welcome to the November 2016 E-Bulletin
With autumn in full swing there's no better time to get out and explore the dark starry skies of the Cranborne Chase AONB
- find out how you can get involved at our Annual Forum - details below...
AONB wins £1.7 million grant!
A grant of £1,684,100 has been given initial approval by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.
The Cranborne Chase Landscape Partnership focuses on the traditional heart of the Medieval royal hunting ground and the river valley to the north known locally as the Chalke Valley. There have always been historical, natural and social links between the valley and the Chase downland which the LP scheme will explore and reinforce. A broad range of activities will enable people to conserve, enhance, understand and learn about their unique heritage.
The five year project will seek to resolve issues and problems affecting landscape character; habitats; species; the historic environment; culturally significant features; and access.
Cranborne Chase is a dramatic and historic chalk landscape. Along with a sense of remoteness, tranquillity and dark night skies, Cranborne Chase offers a deep sense of place.
Starting early in 2017, local people will be developing complementary programmes of work and activities to be delivered through the scheme. The projects will also build on the links with the surrounding market towns such as Shaftesbury, Salisbury, Wimborne and Warminster. The programme will continue until 2024.
AONB Director Linda Nunn said, "We are absolutely delighted to have received this wonderful grant. It will transform our ability to conserve and enhance this truly outstanding area."
A development grant of £100,000 has been awarded by HLF to enable the Cranborne Chase AONB to develop its plans and seek final approval for the full grant amount of nearly £1.7 million in 2018.
The five programmes in the vision are:
- Natural Landscapes
- Historic Landscapes
- Cultural Landscapes
- Volunteers and Local Community
- Third Party Grants
Annual Forum & Stargazing Event
The 2016 Annual Forum will be taking place on the 13th December, 4pm at Sixpenny Handley Village Hall.
Coffee/tea will be available from 4.00 pm and the event will start promptly at 4.30pm and finish approximately at 9.30pm.
We will be giving a brief report of Partnership achievements during 2015-2016 followed by an outline of work to be undertaken during 2016-2017.
One of those aims is to achieve 'Dark Night Sky status' for the AONB. Well known Dorset astronomer Bob Mizon, UK Co-ordinator, British Astronomical Association Campaign for Dark Skies will be on hand to explain what this all means and how everyone within the AONB can help. Following a warming bowl of stew Bob will lead us outside to point out and explain the constellations.
See the Dark Night Skies page on our website for further details, and to pledge your support
In order to plan ahead effectively, and with numbers limited, I would be grateful if you could complete the online booking form by Wednesday 9th December, or, alternatively, you can download the booking form, save and send by email to email@example.com
New rural tourism initiatives
Following on from the 'Discover Nadder' and 'Discover Chalke Valley' tourism initiatives, the AONB is now working with White Sheep: Marketing & Project Solutions to start up 'Discover Cranborne Chase' and 'Discover Wylye'.
These two new initiatives aim to help tourism-related businesses in those two areas to network, share experiences and work together to attract newcomers to the area with ready-made visitor packages linking B&Bs, local pubs, shops with walking & cycling routes.
Promoting these fabulous areas of the Cranborne Chase AONB will be a new web site for each initiative plus businesses can have access to a special 'locator logo' and a CD full of free photos and descriptive text to use on their own web sites to attract new customers...
If you'd like to be part of, or find out more about these new initiatives please contact Rachel on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel and the AONB will be holding initial meetings in March next year to explain how it all works, so watch out for dates after Christmas. No cost involved at all so we hope to see you there!
To check out existing networks see www.discovernadder.org.uk and www.discoverchalkevalley.org.uk.
The Foundations of Archaeology Project
The Foundations of Archaeology Project will be meeting at the Wor Barrow near Sixpenny Handley on Friday 2nd December. We'll be clearing scrub and brambles off the Wor Barrow and the two round barrows adjacent to it.
There will be a bonfire and, having had to postpone this event twice due to poor weather, we are praying for some crisp winter sunshine! It would be great to have as many people along as possible.
If you would like to come along, please let Phil know at email@example.com.
Other Events coming up..
Woodcutts on Saturday 26 November (Romano-British settlement within Rushmore, excavated by the General 1884-5)
Iron Age Chiselbury on Tuesday 6 December (Nr Fovant and and for all lovers of ramparts, cross-dykes and other intruiging features).
For more information about the project and to find out how you can be involved, please have a look at the blog at foundationsofarchaeology.wordpress.com or get in touch with Emma firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01747 870810 or 07983279825.
Your Neighbourhood; Your Landscapes
We know many of you cherish the landscapes around where you live, and that you are also being encouraged to prepare Neighbourhood Plans to facilitate further development.
In order to help you, this AONB has prepared another Good practice Note: 'Using Landscape Character in Neighbourhood Planning - an opportunity to sustain, conserve, and enhance the local distinctiveness of where you live'.
FactSheet9 - LCA Neighbourhood Planning.
If Parish groups would like some guidance on carrying out their own landscape character assessments the AONB may be able to help with guidance and training; just contact the office.
Other Good Practice notes and Position Statements can be found on the Planning Publications section on our web site.
Sources of funding
Heart of Wessex LEADER Local Action Group - grants for rural businesses and organisations: www.heartofwessex.co.uk.
Northern Dorset LEADER Local Action Group - grants for rural businesses and organisations: www.dorsetleader.org.uk.
You can also see all the funding information on the AONB Website funding page. This shows the latest postings from our funding blogger page, and you can subscribe to receive automatic updates.
The Dorset Police Rural Crime Team
The Dorset Police Rural Crime Team was setup in August 2016 and consists of a dedicated rural crime co-ordinator PC Claire Dinsdale, a rural engagement officer PCSO Tom Balchin and a rural crime analyst.
There are Police officers who are points of contact for each of Dorset's five rural sections: Bridport, Dorchester and Sherborne, Purbeck, East Dorset and North Dorset.
Dorset Police takes rural crime seriously and understands the significance and far reaching consequences that rural crime has on victims lives and businesses.
Policing today relies on the public passing information, however small it may appear to you it may be the vital link to solving a crime. This can be done online via the Dorset Police website or by calling 101. If you encounter a crime in progress, call 999 immediately.
Sightings of suspicious vehicles, padlocks being bolt-cropped, tyre tracks in fields and gates left open - we need to know what is happening, when, where, how and vehicle registrations are always useful. This helps the police build a picture of intelligence of what happening where which police then can use to help organise operations and direct patrols to pay attention to certain areas.
The local points of contact are available on the Dorset Police website by typing in a postcode.
The Rural Crime Team will be carrying out a presentation at the Annual Forum on the 13th December at Sixpenny Handley Village Hall (booking essential, call Shirley Merrick on 01725 517417 or email email@example.com) to book your place.
The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has produced a wonderful new book celebrating the wildlife, habitats and living landscapes of Wiltshire and Swindon.
It is the result of a two year collaboration between Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and thirteen Wiltshire photographers. The result is a collection of inspiring colour photographs which illustrates the great diversity of landscape, woodland, meadow, downland, plants and animals that can be found in the county.
There are some great images of the parts of Wiltshire that are covered by the AONB and the wildlife within it. Some of the photographers will be familiar to people who live in South Wiltshire: Andrew Wiltshire and Ken Leslie to name just two.
The book retails at £20 and would make a great Christmas gift. It is available online now from www.wiltshirewildlife.org/shop.
Winner of the Autumn/Winter 2015 section of the photo competition
Congratulations to the winner of the Autumn/Winter 2015 section of the photo competition - Helen Gibson with a stunning photograph of Fontmell Down near to Compton Abbas Airfield.
You can see the winning photo in our News Section on the website.