Our 2020-2022 Biennial Review is now available to download, setting out the High Weald AONB Partnership’s activities over the past two financial years, including the challenges faced – and overcome – during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Key highlights include:
- Administering the first part-year of the government’s new Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) grant scheme of £1.7 million over 3 years (launched in June 2021).
- Advising over 140 organisations and local partnerships on the High Weald’s landscape - double the number of previous years due to the use of virtual meetings and increased staff resources in water management.
- Running a ‘virtual’ High Weald Walking Festival in September 2020 in partnership with the Ramblers, curating 50 self-guided walks across the entire AONB. The Festival website received over 20,000 hits during the month.
- Providing advice and comment on 269 development proposals, 81 felling licence applications and 20 rights of way diversions.
- Rapidly and efficiently moving our Land Management advisory activity to an online/hybrid model to accommodate changing Covid-19 restrictions, resulting in 356 site visits and meetings with land managers (some virtual during the strictest lockdowns), plus additional written and oral advice given to 166 land managers.
- Delivering 22 virtual, hybrid and in-person land management events with 188 attendees, advising on government environmental land management schemes and practices, regenerative agriculture, agricology, carbon storage and rewilding.
- Administering the Sussex Lund grant scheme, resulting in the allocation of more than £380,000 funding for 95 practical projects to improve the landscape and ecology of the High Weald’s communities.
- Running 109 High Weald Hero education events at 39 primary schools, - working safely within Covid-19 restrictions - involving 2,874 learning sessions.
Our work to conserve and protect this precious, historic landscape wouldn't be possible without our valued partners, from central government, local authority partners, private individuals, landowners and farmers to schools, charities, community groups and the general public. As we forge a path through this new post-Covid world, we look forward to working with you in the coming months to make 2022/2023 an even greater success.