The High Weald AONB Partnership has received two accolades at the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Sussex Countryside Awards.
The awards celebrate the ‘countryside heroes’ of Sussex – organisations and individuals that enrich and support rural communities across the county, with a particular focus on sustainability and conservation.
The High Weald Hero education programme, which works with 80 primary schools across the AONB, won a Silver award in the Connecting People and the Countryside Award. This category recognises community groups, local enterprises and schools who contribute to enhancing and protecting the countryside and encourage engagement with the natural world.
This was swiftly followed by another Silver award for the High Weald Housing Design Guide, which offers clear, practical guidance for new housing developments in the AONB, enabling higher quality and landscape-led design that reflects intrinsic High Weald character. This award was in the Promoting Nature and the Countryside category, which recognises community groups and enterprises with inspiring projects that contribute towards a sustainable rural community and thriving countryside.
The competition judges, Lady Egremont, Dr Geoffrey Mead, Margaret Moore and Dr Tony Whitbread, made virtual ‘awards’ at a Zoom ceremony on 14 October, with more than 70 attendees. A total of 26 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were announced.
Sally Marsh, co-director of the High Weald AONB Unit, said: “We’re thrilled with our double win at the CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards. Our High Weald Hero education programme aims to nurture the next generation of landscape lovers, while the High Weald Housing Design Guide aims to conserve the landscape for future generations by setting out high standards for new development. The two projects are very different, but closely connected in their core aims of conserving and enhancing the historic High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”