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Landscapes for Life Conference 2021

A Climate for Change - Climate Change and Nature Recovery in National Landscapes


Wednesday 7th July, 10am - 12pm

Welcome to the Landscapes for Life Conference 2021

Philip Hygate, Chairman - National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Welcome to Devon

Cllr Jeffrey Trail BEM, Chair of the Council - Devon County Council, and
Cllr Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport - Devon County Council

Keynote session

Climate change and National Landscapes:

The challenges we face and our response to them

The science behind climate change 
Dr Andrew Hartley, Manager, Climate Impacts Modelling Team - The Met Office

The relationship between climate change and nature recovery 
Alan Law, Deputy Chief Executive - Natural England

21st century estate management
Sam Bridgewater, Head of Wildlife and Conservation - Clinton Devon Estates

National Landscapes
Howard Davies - National Association for AONBs

Panel discussion

Dicsussion with above speakers. 

Ministerial address

Lord Benyon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity - Defra

Wednesday 7th July, 2pm - 4pm

A virtual tour of Devon

Be transported to Devon's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and discover what is happening to tackle climate change and support nature recovery.

The five Devon AONBs (Tamar Valley, South Devon, Blackdown Hills, North Devon Coast and East Devon) will each be leading a virtual field trip around beautiful Devon. You will be able to choose two of the five AONBs to 'visit'.

The sessions will be recorded, so you can explore all five at your leisure.

Tamar Valley AONB

Views and voices of the valley: Productive partnerships

Learn about the Tamara Landscapes Partnership, a five-year programme that will work for a brighter future for the Tamar Valley and its communities by creating opportunities and positive change. It consists of 10 exciting projects under three broad themes: 

  • Community (including training and apprenticeships), 
  • Environment (land management), and 
  • Heritage.

You will also visit key projects that are part of the Tamar Valley AONB core programme via the voice of their partners:

  • Intertidal habitats at Calstock and South Hooe
  • Tamar Trails
  • D&C Mining WHS
  • Forest 4 Cornwall
  • Heralds

Blackdown Hills AONB

Connecting the Culm: climate change adaptation through co-creation

Join us for a virtual flyover as we travel upstream along the River Culm valley, from Exeter city to the headwaters in the Blackdown Hills AONB. Learn more about this exciting and innovative whole catchment-based project and meet some of the people involved.

Connecting the Culm is a 3 year climate change adaptation project Connecting the Culm - Help us create a better future for the River Culm and is part of a collaborative EU Interreg 2 Seas funded Co-Adapt programme Co-Adapt: Climate adaptation through co-creation  

The project primarily focuses on building resilience to flood & drought. We are engaging with land managers, businesses and local communities. The aim is to work with these groups to co-create nature-based solutions and develop a 25-year blueprint for the River Culm catchment, integrating nature’s recovery, and conserving and enhancing historic and cultural heritage.

East Devon AONB

Beer, bats, Otter and beavers

Starting in the historic fishing village of Beer on the Jurassic Coast WHS we will take you on a virtual journey across the AONB, exploring projects and initiatives for bats, community engagement, land management/farmer facilitation, river restoration/habitat mitigation/ beavers and more. 

Locations visited

  • Beer
  • Beer Head
  • Blackbury Camp
  • River Otter - Budleigh Salterton 
  • River Otter - Yettington/Otterton  

South Devon AONB

60th anniversary tour of South Devon AONB:

60 miles of coastline, 5 estuaries and 78% of the AONB land area under agriculture. 

Dartmoor to the North, English Channel to the South, Plymouth and Torbay to the West and East.

In our 60th anniversary year we want to take an in depth view of some of our current and future projects

Overview of the AONB covering key features and special qualities

Our prized blue resource and estuary management

  • Catchment based approach
  • Sustainable use of estuaries
  • Catchment Sensitive Farming 

Farming in the AONB

  • Farm Facilitation group - achieving landscape scale outcomes in the Avon Valley
  • Wider work with farmers and landowners - ELM and Farming in Protected Landscapes

Developing ‘ Life on the Edge’ - restoring habitats for some of our rarest insects including the six banded Nomad Bee

  • How will we restore and enhance habitat?
  • Partnership working
  • The funding package

North Devon Coast AONB

Part 1 - Hidden histories of the North Devon Coast

Come with Dave Edgcombe and Joe Penfold to discover the Coastal Heritage better revealed through a two-year HLF and Historic England funded project, working with landowners, partner agencies and the local community.

  • Explore our fascinating heritage from above with drone footage of the iron age hillfort at Clovelly Dykes, known by many archaeologists as the “Maiden Castle of Devon”
  • Experience ‘then and now’ footage of D-Day training on the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows in 1944 and conservation work today on these WW2 sites

Learn how the Coastal Heritage Project brought this hidden history to life Coastal Heritage - North Devon Coast

Part 2 - ‘Stepping out’ with Red Herring

Find your headphones and be ready to take your shoes and socks off!

Kim Tilbrook and Fiona Fraser-Smith will show how their approach through performance, sound, stories and human sized migratory birds, reached different audiences in a range of rural and urban settings to address climate change, erosion and wildlife behaviour in a fun and informative way. Hear how they are building a long-term relationship with the AONB Partnership with new projects to reach diverse audiences.

Wednesday 7th July, 7pm

Social evening

Join your fellow delegates in a relaxed setting to get to know each other a little better. Get settled with your drink of choice and a gourmet snack or two if you fancy it. We'll be hosting an ice-breaker at the beginning of the session, and after that you are welcome to keep the conversation flowing.

The link for the social evening is available to registered delegates on the National Landscapes Platform and a reminder will be emailed to you shortly before the evening starts.

Thursday 8th July, 10am - 12pm

The Colchester Declaration: At the 2019 annual conference (held in Colchester) all AONBs made a collective declaration on nature in AONBs, setting out a strategy for change. This session will give an update on how the breadth of the Colchester Declaration has been interpreted in AONBs and what this means for collaborative action on the ground.

Delivering on the Colchester Declaration: Progress and plans

Cultural landscapes

Landscapes and people Professor David Crouch

Diversity, access and inclusion Dr Anjana Khatwa, Trustee - National Association for AONBs

Climate change

Chris Fairbrother, Landscape & Biodiversity Strategy Lead - South Downs National Park

Iain Mann, AONB Manager - Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

An ambition for nature

Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive - Peak District National Park

Frances Winder, Nature Recovery Coordinator - National Association for AONBs

Panel discussion

Discussion with above speakers.

Breakout session

The Collaborative Climate Change Action Programme

This set of breakout sessions is an opportunity for everyone to dive into the Collaborative Climate Change Action Programme (if this link, and the others in this section, doesn’t give you access to the system it means you aren’t currently registered on the National Landscapes Forum platform: you will be given access once you have purchased a conference ticket). This programme was launched in May, by the Collaboration Advisory Group, with the ambition to establish 5 sub-groups on the following themes:

  • Agriculture and climate change
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Renewable energies
  • Building Design and Planning
  • Sustainable tourism and transport

Each breakout session will provide an opportunity for all to provide information and feedback on the context, scope and key activities for each sub-group, and to add a direct contribution for those who are interested. Each participant will be able to attend 2 breakouts out of the 5 running twice in parallel. The breakouts will be facilitated by the Collaboration Advisory Group and sub-group members.

It will be an opportunity for everyone to shape the focus of these sub-groups and their direction of travel.

1. Agriculture and climate change: With farming being a dominant land use in many AONBs, AONB teams and partnerships are well placed to communicate complex climate change messages to the farming community. This sub-group will lead a joint AONB approach on this topic to help AONB teams enhance their local delivery on agriculture and climate change and to provide a collective AONB voice to influence national policy and behaviours. See the brief for more information.

2. Nature-based solutions: Bringing together the need for nature recovery and healthy systems with the imperative to mitigate and adapt to climate change, this sub-group will lead a joint AONB approach on the topic of Nature-based Solutions to help AONB teams enhance their local delivery on nature-based solutions to climate change and to provide a collective AONB voice to influence national policy and behaviours. See the brief for more information.

3. Renewable energies: The need for renewable energy sources as well as their impact on landscapes are well established, yet there is currently no common approach and position on the deployment of renewable energies in AONBs. This sub-group will lead a joint AONB approach on the topic to help AONB teams enhance their local delivery on renewable energies and climate change and to provide a collective AONB voice to influence national policy and behaviours. See the brief for more information 

4. Design building and planning: With an ever-increasing pressure from housing development and an exacerbated need for energy efficient buildings and resilient communities, AONBs can support each other in their work through the development of common guidance and positions. This sub-group will lead a joint AONB approach on the topic to help AONB teams enhance their local delivery on planning and climate change and to provide a collective AONB voice to influence national policy and behaviours. See the brief for more information.

5. Sustainable tourism and transport: Transport to and within AONBs as well as tourism activities are two important areas for cutting GHG emissions and enabling more sustainable life-styles in AONBs. More joined-up work across the network will help AONBs directly encourage low emission travel. This sub-group will lead a joint AONB approach on the topic to help AONB teams enhance their local delivery on improving tourism and transport to tackle climate change and to provide a collective AONB voice to influence national policy and behaviours. See the brief for more information.​​​

Thursday 8th July, 2pm - 4.30pm

As the Agricultural Transition Plan (ATP) gets underway in the lead up to rollout of the ELM Scheme in 2024, we look at the mechanisms for delivering climate change strategies in farming and hear from farmers who are leading the way.

Farming in National Landscapes: Delivering environmental outcomes through agricultural transition

Mechanisms for delivering climate change benefits
- An update from Siôn McGeever, Deputy Director for Access, Landscapes, Peatland and Soil - Defra 
- An AONB perspective: Tom Munro, AONB Manager - Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and
Chris Woodley-Stewart, Director - North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Building nature recovery into viable farm businesses 
Fraser Hugill, Farmer and Environmental Consultant - Howardian Hills AONB

Clusters, networks and engagement
Dr Ruth Little, Lecturer in Human Geography - The University of Sheffield

Regenerative agriculture and bringing together networks of people
Cathy Case, Farmer - Riverford Organic Farmers

Panel discussion

Discussion with the above speakers.

Collaborative session

A chat with the chiefs

The National Association for AONBs' outgoing and incoming chief executives meet
Howard Davies and John Watkins

Close of conference