Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty welcomes Gove’s plans
As part of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, an independent panel will look at how these areas meet our needs in the 21st century – including whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 National Parks to expand.
To be led by writer Julian Glover, the review will also explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.
Weakening or undermining their existing protections or geographic scope will not be part of the review, which will instead focus on how designated areas can boost wildlife, support the recovery of natural habitats and connect more people with nature.
Dorset has two AONBs, the Cranborne Chase AONB in the northeast, and the Dorset AONB in the south and west. It is the English county most covered by these landscape protections, in recognition of its outstanding beauty. The designations and the county’s inherent natural beauty are a key contributor to Dorset’s environmental economy, recently valued at £1.5Bn per annum.
Dorset AONB Chairman, Jim White MBE, said “We’re delighted that the Environment Secretary has underlined his commitment to protected landscapes and look forward to fully participating in the review. Since the Dorset AONB was designated in 1959, the world has moved on and it’s right that we should look into how these areas fulfil a basic human need for beautiful, inspiring places in which to live, work, and relax.”
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