60th Anniversary for the Quantocks

A week-long festival ‘The Quantock Experience' to celebrate 60 years of national protection as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is being held at Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts on 27th June - 1st July.

The Quantock Hills AONB Service, South West Heritage Trust and Halsway Manor are proud to announce that the opening lecture of The Quantock Experience, 60th anniversary celebration week will be a talk by Professor Peter Haggett: ‘A Quantock Light: Catching a changing landscape through Art' 27th June, at 7.30pm followed by local beer and cider tasting with live music.

The festival ‘The Quantock Experience' will be a series of daytime activities and evening lectures which can be booked by the day, or as a week-long resident. Activities include a Wild Skills bushcraft session with Quantock Rangers, wildlife and plant ID walk, green woodworking and a Coleridge ‘Flycatchers' walk with Chris Jelley and lots more. Evening lectures also include ‘Coleridge and The Quantocks' talk by Tom Mayberry and ‘Quantock Archaeology' followed by an evening ceilidh with the Bristol Ceilidh Quartet.

Thursday 30th June will be a special AONB birthday, with a morning seminar of talks discussing the landscape character of the Quantocks. Dr. Andy King will discuss Quantock geology and building stones, Hazel Riley will be discussing archaeology and the man-made landscape and Emma-Jane Preece will discuss the specific landscape characteristics of the AONB. Talks will be followed by lunch and an afternoon archaeological walk led by County Archaeologist Bob Croft.

Those who are booked onto the Quantock Experience Week will be invited to attend a celebration beacon lighting on the Thursday evening, with storytelling and music. (Bring a rug and your own refreshments.)

Designated in 1956, and protected in law as an Outstanding Natural Beauty for the exceptional quality of its wide open heathland hilltops, its atmospheric ancient oak combes, its rugged Jurassic coastline, abundant wildlife and rich archaeology, the Quantock Hills is one of the finest landscapes in the country.

Quantock Hills AONB Manager, Chris Edward says:

"We are really proud to be working with some of the finest experts in the area, to bring you a week packed with activities, walks and talks that really showcase the best of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 60 years of protecting our beautiful Quantock landscape is a real milestone and it's time to celebrate that in true Quantock style. We hope the week provides something for everyone to enjoy and find out more about the special character of this protected landscape."

Designated in 1956, alongside the Gower Peninsular and the Llyn Peninsular in Wales, The Quantock Hills became the first AONB to be designated in England. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are some of the most beautiful and cherished landscapes in Britain. There are now 46 AONBs in Britain, 33 in England, four in Wales, one straddling the English/Welsh border and eight in Northern Ireland - they cover 18% of our countryside. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are dynamic, living landscapes that underpin the economy and the health and wellbeing of society.


Full programme of the Quantock Experience Week, click here


Katy Coate - June 2016


Stay in the loop

Annual Reports

View Annual reports from the Quantock AONB Service

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund

The Quantock Hills AONB Service now has a Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund providing grants of up to £20,000 to local communities, farmers, landowners and individuals. The fund has been provided by EDF Energy and is part of the mitigation measures associated with the Hinkley Point C development.

Information leaflets

Find out more about the geology of the Quantock Hills AONB, why the heathland is so important for birds, the red deer on the Quantocks and why the history of the landscape is so special.

Other organisations and activities in the Quantocks

A few things you might find interesting from organisations we work with in the Quantocks

Photography Competition Entry Form

Please down load and return with your fabulous entries

Policys and Codes of Conduct

Everyone enjoys spending their time on the hills doing different activities. Below are some guidance and policy documents to ensure they are carried out safely and that wider regulations are followed.

Quantock Deer Count Results

Annual deer count results for 2010 to 2017

Quantock Hills and Planning

Downloadable documents for you to better understand the Quantock AONB and planning processes

Quantock Hills Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) Papers 2014 - 2017

Papers from the partnership committee the Joint Advisory Committee

Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019

This is the the Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019. It will guide work carried out to protect and enhance the Quantock Hills by the AONB team and all our partners. It has been agreed by the Secretary of State for the Environment and adopted by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Recreation Leaflets

a full range of leaflets from circular walks to event guides and leaflets to allow you to enjoy the best of the hills

Terms and Conditions for Quantock Hills Facebook page

Terms and Conditions for http://www.facebook.com/Quantock.hills

Tick Leaflet

Ticks are becoming more common and a bite from this spider-like parasite could lead to Lyme Disease. This is a treatable infection caused by bacterium transmitted by ticks when they bite. Not every tick carries Lyme Disease and it is important to realise that the disease is relatively rare.


Useful Contacts

Quantock AONB Service
Tel: 01823 451 884

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01823 652 400

National Trust
Tel: 01823 451 814

Forestry Commission
Tel: 01278 732 319