Julian Glover, the Head of the Review into the Designated Landscapes in England, was on the Isle of Wight yesterday, meeting farmers, Isle of Wight councillors and other interested parties.
The visit follows a consultation issued by Julian and a panel as part of their independent review on whether England’s ten National Parks and 34 AONBs (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) meet the nation’s needs, and whether there is scope for the current network to expand.
Range of views shared
Over a sandwich lunch hosted by The Garlic Farm, Mr Glover met with representatives from the Isle of Wight AONB, Natural Enterprise, Visit Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, farmers and representatives from IWC planning and regeneration departments.
The purpose of the review – being held on the 70th anniversary of the birth of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – is to consider how housing and transport in protected landscapes could be improved, the role they play in our cultural heritage, and how these iconic areas can boost habitats for wildlife.
Audiences need to evolve
Mr Glover reinforced how landscapes are shaped by the people who live, work and enjoy them, but that AONBs need to reach out to others to ensure the audience is constantly evolving.
He was particularly interested to hear how the Isle of Wight works to link with urban areas such as Portsmouth and Southampton.
Planning issues, a lack of subsidies compared to other UK islands, public transport, and education were all touched on in the meeting.
Glover: “Very impressed”
Following the meeting Mr Glover told OnTheWight,
“I was very impressed to see first-hand how the Island community is clearly prepared to play a full part in enhancing and shaping its special and unique landscape.”