Page 4 - PLAN
P. 4
Chairman’s Foreword
Anthony Trollope-Bellew
Quantock Joint Advisory Committee Chairman
The Quantock Hills is a landscape of such outstanding natural beauty, that it continually inspires and enriches us all. The heather clad open hilltops, the ancient wooded combes, the Jurassic coast, the red deer and the distinctive villages are all part of what makes the Quantocks Hills one of the finest landscapes in the UK.
We should not forget that by conserving the beauty of the Quantocks we are also nurturing many natural benefits to society. Clean air, water and soil, timber and fuel are provided, as well as benefits to our health and wellbeing from the considerable outdoor enjoyment we gain from spending time in this ancient landscape.The primary purpose of the AONB partnership is to conserve and enhance natural beauty, however the associated benefits of protecting this beauty are crucial to our biodiversity, our communities and our rural economy.
This plan represents the means to achieve these things and sets the agenda for all conservation work carried out by the AONB team, Joint Advisory Committee and the wide range of Quantock partners over the next five years. The plan is a statutory requirement and has been adopted by local authorities and Quantock partners. Due regard will need to be given to it by bodies intending to carry out significant works or projects in the area such as planning applications, broadband, communication masts and the like.
In the five years since the last plan was adopted many positive changes have been seen. For example since July 2013 91.9% of the SSSI on Quantock Common now meets the Natural England target of favourable or recovering condition. This is a dramatic turnaround from 2009 and congratulations must go to all those involved. Over 400 hectares of invasive rhododendron was removed and £205,838 was awarded to community projects through the Sustainable Development Fund.Wildlife has been surveyed annually providing us with invaluable information about the longer term trends of many species in the Quantock Hills and our hard working volunteers have notched up
an incredible 2,066 work days. It is fair to say that without the dedication of our volunteers a great deal of work would simply not have been possible. I therefore offer my sincere thanks to each of you.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who worked so hard to produce this plan and to all those who shared their specialist knowledge and expertise. By working together to conserve and enhance this outstanding landscape, we will achieve our vision for the Quantocks in twenty years time; and continue to enjoy a landscape of profound beauty that continues to inspire, enrich and benefit us all.

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