Using the Management Plan

From landowners, community groups and business owners to local authority representatives and developers, everyone has a part to play in conserving the special landscape of the High Weald AONB.

The Management Plan can be used to guide environmental land management and assess the impact of development or other changes on the AONB.

Assessing impact on the AONB

The High Weald AONB Management Plan provides a set of objectives for each component of natural beauty. These objectives represent the agreed long-term aims for the High Weald.

The achievement of these aims will ensure that the purpose of AONB designation is achieved and this outstandingly-beautiful landscape is conserved for future generations.

Each objective is supported by targets, reviewed every 5 years suggesting actions that will help deliver the objectives.

Any policy or action may be considered harmful to the AONB if it results in the loss of, or material harm to, any of the components of character that combine to form the area’s natural beauty and/ or it constrains achievement of AONB Management Plan objectives.

Any policy or action can be considered to be consistent with or beneficial to AONB designation if it does not harm the AONB, and it contributes to the conservation of the components of character and/or assists achieve AONB management plan objectives.

Using the Plan’s objectives

To assess the impact of any proposed policy, action or development on the AONB, consider each of the Management Plan objectives in turn and record how you think the activity might affect the achievement of the objective.

You might like to address the following issues for each objective:

  • The magnitude and extent of any possible material damage to the feature or impact on views or enjoyment of that feature.
  • The duration of impact and whether it is temporary or permanent.

If the proposed policy, action or development is judged to be harmful it may be that an understanding of AONB character can inform an improved revision.

Ways to use the Management Plan


map of the aonb showing local authority boundaries

The siting and design of work – whether proposed through planning applications or under permitted development rights – will often have a significant impact on the character of the AONB.

The High Weald AONB Partnership has produced a range of tools and guidance to be used alongside the Management Plan, including our Design Guide and Colour Study.

Land management

Aberdeen Angus cows wearing no-fence collars in a field

The actions of farmers and land managers are crucial to the area’s long-term conservation.

The High Weald AONB Partnership provides advice and access to funding for projects that support Management Plan objectives, including helping farmers move over to a regenerative farming system.

Community projects, businesses and individuals

A young boy in a space suit doing some colouring - space helmet on table in the foreground

Communities, businesses and individuals can carry out Management Plan objectives in many ways, including grant-funded projects.

The Sussex Lund grant programme supports small-scale, practical projects that improve the landscape of the High Weald and the hamlets, villages and towns on its fringes. It also supports projects that help people to experience the landscape and build connections to it.

Talk to us

Cant find the information you need? Find details for the High Weald AONB team and other organisations who might be able to help: