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World class projects connecting people with nature a step closer to claiming coveted landscapes Award

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Coast Care volunteers helping with a pollinator survey Coast Care

The search to find this year’s worthy recipient(s) of the Bowland Award has advanced a step with six showcases planned for consideration by delegates at the Landscapes for Life Conference 2019 next week.

The Bowland Award, a hen harrier sculpture in bronze, is awarded annually for the best project, best practice or outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The theme for this year’s award is ‘connecting natural beauty and nature recovery’ and each of the nominations is for a project which exemplifies this approach.

The showcases will cover the following:

20th anniversary of the Chichester Harbour Education Service in Chichester Harbour AONB - made in recognition of the outstanding contribution the Chichester Harbour Education Service has been made for 20 years, helping connect a whole generation of children to natural beauty

Jill Hearing of The South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership Scheme in Dorset AONB – in recognition of Jill’s commitment to coordinating volunteer efforts, establishing new traditions celebrating the Dorset Ridgeway’s cultural past and creating new partnerships across the area. 

The Ash Project in Kent Downs AONB – in recognition of a project creating a cultural response to the loss of ash caused by Ash dieback in the Kent Downs and across Kent more widely. 

Coast Care in Northumberland Coast AONB – in recognition of a substantial volunteer programme including over 900 volunteers giving 16,000 hours to the conservation and management of the coastal landscape of the Northumberland Coast AONB and its hinterland.

Surrey Unearthed in Surrey Hills AONB – an innovative arts programme exploring the natural materials of the landscape, their history and uses over time. Installations, art walks and community celebrations connected people with their local landscapes. 

The Three Counties Traditional Orchards Project in Malvern Hills AONB – in recognition of a community focused effort which saw the restoration of over 90 acres of traditional orchard habitat with 500 new trees. 

Howard Davies, Chief Executive of the National Association for AONBs, said: “The Award is one of our ways of acknowledging the tireless work of people who contribute to making the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty wonderful places to live and work in or visit. The theme for this year ‘connecting natural beauty and nature recovery’ really shines a light on the incredible amount and variety of work done by AONB partnerships across the country to make a significant difference to nature in their area”.

He added: “The six showcases will allow the nominated projects/people an opportunity for a “final pitch” at Landscapes for Life Conference 2019 and we look forward to an exciting evening of voting.

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Bowland Award 2018 Winners – Wye Valley River Festival NAAONB