5-Year Management Plan for Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Adopted by MVDC
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has adopted the fourth review of the Surrey Hills Management Plan, an important next step in the conservation of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The Surrey Hills AONB covers a quarter of Surrey and a third of the Mole Valley. Looking after such an important asset is a priority for the six local authorities in the County that have part of the AONB within their area. Effective conservation requires all of the local authorities to work together. It also requires a single Management Plan that sets out policies and proposals focussed on conserving the special landscape character.
The new Management Plan comes at an important time in the history of the England's nationally important landscapes, including the Surrey Hills. It is 70 years since the introduction of legislation that created AONBs and National Parks. Later this year, a government review* will report on the most effective way of ensuring that nationally important landscapes continue to function as originally intended and respond to new challenges such as climate change and the decline in biodiversity.
Councillor Margaret Cooksey, Cabinet Member for Planning said, "The new Surrey Hills Management Plan 2020-25 sets the vision for an attractive landscape mosaic of farmland, woodland, heaths, downs and commons. It also seeks a living landscape in which local business will thrive and within which local people and visitors will find enjoyment and appreciate its natural beauty for their health and well-being.
"We are proud of our partnership working with our colleagues across the Mole Valley to achieve this plan and are the first authority in Surrey to adopt it. I would like to thank those throughout our district who work with such energy and enthusiasm on this vital activity."
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Board Member, Councillor Hazel Watson said, "I am delighted to be involved in the implementation of the Management Plan. The Plan is vital for the conservation and enhancement of the Surrey Hills and we have a great role to play locally in safeguarding and promoting our precious natural environment by having due regard to the policies in the Management Plan. Due to the proximity of London the Surrey Hills face tremendous recreational pressures, particularly hot spots like Box Hill and Leith Hill, we need to work with landowners, communities and businesses to help relieve the pressure by spreading the load sustainably across the Surrey Hills."
The plan will be formally launched on 27 November at an event at the University of Surrey. Copies of the plan and a summary will be available online.