HPC Landscape & Visual Projects
In October 2014 the Quantock Hills AONB Service launched a number of schemes which aimed to deliver landscape enhancement across the affected area associated with the new Nuclear Power Station development, Hinkley Point C. These schemes are delivered on behalf of the partners, EDF Energy, Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset West & Taunton Council.
Greater Quantock Landscape
The Quantock Hills AONB Service is delivering the Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund providing grants of up to £5,000 to local communities, farmers, landowners and individuals and landscape enhancement projects.
Landscape Improvement Scheme
The Landscape Improvement Scheme is providing funding for works which enhance and expand the area of priority habitat on the Quantock Hills AONB. These habitats include heathland, acidic grassland, species rich grassland and broadleaved woodlands. The scheme is working with a number of landowners to expand the area of priority habitat and / or create linkages or corridors between existing priority habitats.
Land Management and
Rural Skills Scheme
The first phase of the LMSS ran from 2016 to 2017 and included a series of orchard workshops for local communities, a wildlife monitoring scheme aimed at encouraging and enabling young people to monitor species in their local communities and a series of events for local landowners to increase resilience in farming and forestry. In total 160 community members were engaged in the scheme.
The Somerset AONB’s secured £248,900 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to deliver the ‘Levels Up’ project. The project works across the three AONBs, along strategically important nature recovery networks to deliver project during 2021/22, enhancing connections for wildlife and habitats between the hills and the levels. The AONB Service is delivering 3 projects centring on enhancing woodland resilience through invasive species removal and planting schemes and enhancement of the rare acidic mires on Quantock Common.
Somerset Nature Connections
Somerset Nature Connections builds on the work delivered by the Somerset AONB's Nature & Wellbeing Project between 2016 - 2019 through Somerset County Council Public Health funding.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the partnership project with the Somerset Wildlife Trust,
Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Blackdown Hills AONB's (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
will support local communities and individuals most vulnerable to mental health issues, providing better access to nature spaces to encourage and increase
self-management for individuals, and develop a
network of skilled volunteers who can
support communities for the longer term.
The Nature Connections team are looking for volunteer specialists to lead sessions in carpentry,
green woodworking, outdoor art, mindfulness practitioners, horticultural skills, botanists or
knowledgeable species enthusiasts and those with skills in ICT/technology
If this sounds like you and you’d like to find out more, please email:
To find out more about the project
and to get involved visit:
This project, which ran from 2016-20, targeted communities who historically had not been accessing the Somerset AONBs, but for whom access to the natural environment may be of great benefit to them. The reasons for the lack of engagement for these groups may be mediated by social-economic status, ethnicity, age, disability and mental health. For the Quantock Hills the target areas are Bridgwater, Taunton and Williton. The project provided supported visits, volunteering opportunities, monitoring and evaluation. Funded by Somerset Public Health, the project focused on targeting communities that lie geographically close to the 3 AONBs specifically:
Blackdown Hills - Taunton, Chard and Wellington
Mendip Hills - Wells, Cheddar and Burnham-on-Sea
Quantock Hills - Taunton, Bridgwater and Williton
Somerset’s Nature and Wellbeing Project
The project aims were to:
Increase awareness of what Somerset's AONBs offer.
Engage with local health and wellbeing partners to develop a menu of activities that will lead to offering a range of introductory pilot sessions across the 3 areas.
Encourage specific groups and individuals not currently accessing Somerset's AONBs, to visit and experience the benefits to physical and mental health and wellbeing.
To ensure project sustainability, provide information and training to relevant professionals and groups, in order to develop confidence and knowledge in accessing Somerset's AONBs for future visits and activities.
Working Well Volunteers
Monthly 10.00am - 2.00pm
Come and help us look after the beautiful landscape of the Quantock Hills through monthly volunteering tasks.
This is a friendly, supportive group and there is no pressure to finish tasks - we just want people to enjoy being involved in a positive activity in a beautiful, varied, natural environment. Hot drinks and biscuits will be provided, but bring a packed lunch.
What will the sessions involve? The tasks will involve physical activity and are all outside; instructions, tools and working gloves will be provided but sturdy, flat shoes and warm clothes are required (please let us know if you need support sourcing these).