Introducing the High Weald National Landscape

From today – November 22nd, 2023 – all Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are being renamed as National Landscapes. Welcome the High Weald National Landscape.

This change is an exciting new chapter in the story of designated AONB in England and Wales, and reflects the importance of these protected landscapes alongside the UK’s National Parks.

National Landscapes are places where people live and work and come to breathe. They are as special and diverse as the people who live there, work there and visit them. A unique patchwork where outstanding beauty isn’t only found in the landscape, but in communities working together.

The refreshed brand identity and new name will unite the 46 National Landscapes across England and Wales, raise the profile of the National Landscapes network and create greater understanding and awareness of the work of National Landscape Partnerships.

This change is a significant milestone for the UK and the next step in fully realising the opportunity for National Landscapes to enhance the beauty of the landscape, restore ecosystems, provide food, store carbon to mitigate the effects of climate change, and safeguard against drought and flooding –  whilst also nurturing people’s health and wellbeing.

a patchwork of logos

What does this mean for the High Weald?

  • The area will be High Weald National Landscape.
    Our designation is still High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Our team is High Weald National Landscape (NL) team.
  • We are governed by High Weald National Landscape Partnership.
  • And our purpose is still: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the High Weald; to increase understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities; and to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities.

Whether it’s supporting hard-working farmers with advice and funding to manage their land for nature, inspiring primary school children through our High Weald Hero education programme or helping community groups celebrate everything that’s special about the area, our new name and brand will re-energise us in our work to conserve and enhance this historic and beautiful National Landscape.

The High Weald National Landscape remains an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty insofar as all policy, legislation and guidance applies to the designated landscape.  The statutory purpose of the designated landscape “to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated landscape” remains unchanged and the High Weald AONB Management Plan 2019-2023 remains valid.

John Watkins, Chief Executive of the National Landscapes Association says:

“National Landscapes teams convene powerful partnerships which place them at the forefront of the fight against nature loss, but since their initial designation, our country has changed immensely, as have the needs and pressures on the environment and communities. However, we have great ambition as well as the commitment and readiness to care for and protect these important places, whilst also extending a welcome to more people. Our ambitious aims build on AONB teams’ long track record of successful delivery for landscape and people and we are confident that we will achieve them. National Landscapes are the landscape designation for the 21 Century and beyond.”

Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England says:

“For decades the AONBs have helped protect the beauty of our finest landscapes. Today though we need so much more from these wonderful places, helping us adapt to climate change, catching carbon, restoring depleted wildlife and encouraging more people outside, at the same time as producing food, sustaining local communities and enhancing historic environments.

“Modern challenges require new approaches and today marks the beginning of a new phase for our National Landscapes, as they strengthen their existing partnerships, and forge new ones that will secure in perpetuity the huge range of benefits that come from these special places. Big change has taken place during the past 75 years and bigger changes still can be expected during the decades ahead. Uniting the National Landscapes in this way is very welcome and spells immense opportunity and great hope for the future.”

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