Landscapes Review

Landscapes Review

The Landscapes Review of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty was produced for the Government by Julian Glover and was published in September 2019.

This landmark report provided a thorough analysis of what nationally protected landscapes are achieving and what they could achieve and do better in the future. The report recommended some exciting and inspiring proposals to ensure that our special landscapes are healthier, greener, more beautiful and open to everyone.

The Landscapes Review recognised the achievements of the family of 33 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in England, but recommended that National Parks and AONBs could work together better to be a positive force for the nation.

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What did the Landscapes Review mean for the Chilterns?

The Chilterns AONB was highlighted in the report as the “obvious choice” for re-designation as a National Park. The Chilterns Conservation Board welcomed this ambition and the greater powers and resourcing it would bring.

The Landscapes Review highlighted that AONBs are limited in both resources and planning powers compared to National Parks. The review recommended bringing National Parks and AONBs together as one family of ‘National Landscapes’, which would afford AONBs a bigger voice, stronger purposes, more ambition and resources and new ways of working.

The report also recognised that of the almost 1,000 people on National Park and AONB boards today, the great majority are male, many are of retirement age and a tiny fraction are of black, Asian or minority ethnicities –  wrong for organisations which are funded by the nation to serve everyone.  The report said that a lot more must be done to meet the needs of those who do not know the countryside, or do not always feel welcome in it, but should be able to enjoy it. Our landscapes are open and free to all, but can seem exclusive.

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About the Chilterns AONB

‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)’ is a formal designation for an area of land that is of national importance for its natural beauty. Read more about what makes the Chilterns landscapes special, and learn about the contribution of AONBs to the national economy and tourism each year.

What happened next?

The government gave its response to the Landscapes Review in January 2022. The Chilterns Conservation Board felt that the government made several positive proposals to strengthen AONB and Conservation Board purposes and powers. However we felt that the government’s response fell short of the ambitious, transformation change that Julian Glover and his team envisaged. Their response failed to match the government’s own ambition for nature, climate and people.

In particular, the government’s response failed to properly address the single most important issue underpinning the future success of the Protected Landscapes network – for AONB teams and Conservation Boards to be properly resourced. There is a huge resourcing disparity between AONB teams and National Parks Authorities.

Our reply to the government consultation

In April 2022, the Chilterns Conservation Board responded to the government consultation and recommended that the government double AONB budgets over that Parliament (three years). We stated that a dynamic and progressive funding formula and package of measures should reflect both the government’s ambition and the future needs of society and of these special landscapes. You can read our full submission below.

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Getting help with planning

We are sadly unable to respond to all queries we receive on planning matters from members of the public.  Here you can find out how we work and who might be able to help you.
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Plan your trip to the Chilterns!

Search the interactive map: select from a list of categories to bring up icons showing the location and information of walks, bike rides, places to visit, tasty local products and plenty more across the Chilterns area
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Keep in touch!

Sign up for our email newsletter to ensure you never miss out on news about our work in the Chilterns AONB.
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Follow the Countryside Code

Help us to protect the Chilterns AONB when you’re out and about by following the Countryside Code and the rules for the site you are visiting. Please respect others around you and those who care for and work in this special landscape.
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