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Chairman’s Foreword

Cllr Dawn Hill

The Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a naturally beautiful and nationally protected landscape.

The role of the AONB Partnership is to ensure that the Mendip Hills retain their unique character and special qualities whilst recognising that it is a place for people to live in, work in and visit

The Mendip Hills AONB Partnership has undertaken a review of the 2009- 2014 Management Plan on behalf of the local authorities who have the statutory duty to prepare AONB Management Plans under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. With their continued support and involvement we very much look forward with working with all partners and others to deliver this revised Plan.

Delivering an integrated approach to management of our protected landscape is an ongoing challenge with the uncertainties over national and local government funding and the array of current and future issues that we aim to respond to including demand for new development and renewable energy, the exploration for shale gases and a changing climate. Working in partnership has never been so important.

This revised Management Plan and Delivery Plan for 2014-2019 recognises conservation and enhancement inextricably linked to social and economic vitality. The Plans ambitions and priorities are set within the context of evolving national policy and their delivery at a local landscape scale. The National Planning Policy Framework, Biodiversity 2020 and ecosystem services all have direct relevance to AONBs. A key role for the AONB Partnership is to share and communicate information to assist their effective and appropriate delivery in the Mendip Hills AONB.

With the continued commitment of partners and the many public, private and voluntary sector groups whose work benefits the area I am confident that with our track record of achievement, despite limited resources, we can continue to conserve and enhance this special landscape that so many enjoy and benefit from.

Cllr Dawn Hill

Chairman, Mendip Hills AONB Partnership

October 2013