A visit by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), to Hovingham last week gave the Secretary of State the opportunity to see for herself how a new funding agreement between North Yorkshire County Council and DEFRA will secure the ongoing work of the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) partnership, and discuss work carried out under a variety of initiatives to enhance biodiversity and habitat management across the whole AONB landscape.
Government funding, with support from local Councils and other national partners has enabled the AONB team to provide advice, practical support and grant aid to farmers, landowners, local businesses and communities, to conserve and enhance landscape features, wildlife habitats, community facilities and local business activity.
Recent changes in departmental structures means that North Yorkshire County Council will now receive funding directly from DEFRA in a 3-way arrangement with Natural England.
County Councillor Clare Wood, Chairman of the Howardian Hills AONB Joint Advisory Committee joined Caroline Spelman on her visit to the AONB offices in Hovingham last week. ”I was delighted that the Secretary of State had the opportunity to see for herself the important work we are doing to protect our environmental heritage.
“The new funding agreement between North Yorkshire County Council, on behalf of local partners, and central government shows the value that we all place in such a stunning landscape and the contribution that it makes to local communities and the economy. The funding allows us to protect our current work programme and enables us to plan ongoing essential conservation works so that future generations can enjoy what we sometimes take for granted. As well as maintaining our advisory service the new funding package will ensure we can continue to work with local communities.”