Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has recently welcomed Iain Mann as the new manager. As the AONB manager, Iain is responsible for developing the strategic direction of Nidderdale AONB, leading the dedicated AONB team based at Pateley Bridge, and working with partners, organisations and local communities to protect, conserve and enhance the beauty of this special landscape.
Iain joins the AONB at a challenging time. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AONB team has had to quickly adapt to continue their work to support local communities and rural business and carry out crucial conservation activities. At the same time, the Government is considering the future role of protected landscapes in its response to the 2019 Landscapes Review of National Parks and AONBs, led by Julian Glover.
Iain brings a wealth of valuable skills and experience to the AONB manager role. Between 2013 and 2018, he ran the AONB’s Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, a ground-breaking £1.8 million National Lottery Heritage Funded conservation project working with local communities, farmers, land managers and a wide range of organisations. Previously, he worked within the ranger service at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, playing a key role in linking the National Park Authority with the local community and visitors. Most recently, Iain was a senior policy adviser for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
I’m delighted to be back at Nidderdale AONB. Clearly this is a very difficult time for everyone but, as we start to think about the recovery from COVID-19, the AONB’s role in looking after this amazing landscape will be as important as ever.
Iain’s predecessor, Paul Burgess, has stepped down from the manager role after 25 years. Paul, who was instrumental in the AONB’s designation in 1994, is remaining involved with the AONB working specifically on planning issues.
While the Pateley Bridge office is currently closed and staff are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AONB team members have restarted a limited number of site visits to continue the AONB’s work supporting local farm businesses and undertaking conservation activities, while following the latest Government guidance.
Although our office is closed at the moment, the AONB team remains hard at work. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be restarting some of our important work on the ground where we can do so safely, for example our on-going programme to eradicate invasive Himalayan Balsam from the upper reaches of Nidderdale. We are liaising closely with farmers and landowners as part of this.
- Nidderdale AONB is a protected landscape covering 233 square miles located on the eastern flanks of the Yorkshire Pennines stretching from the high moorland of Great Whernside south and east towards the edge of the Vale of York. It is home to over 16,000 people, nationally and internationally important habitats and wildlife, as well as 11 reservoirs, 123 scheduled monuments, 564 listed buildings, 1 world heritage site, 4 historic parks and gardens, 4 dark sky discovery sites, 14 conservation areas and 568 miles of public rights of way. Around 1.4 million people visit Nidderdale AONB per year.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and belong to an international Protected Landscape Family. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For more information about the AONB Family, visit the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s website: landscapesforlife.org.uk