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Wye_valleyDavid Cameron put down a thoroughly worthwhile written question recently, and has just received an answer:

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much public funding is being provided to each Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 2008-09; and what account is taken of the size of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in determining the allocation of funding to them. [232510]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The responsibility for funding Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) rests with Natural England and Defra would not interfere in the decisions Natural England takes in setting the budget of any AONB.

The funding for AONBs consists of three elements: core funding for staff and essential administrative costs; projects; and the Sustainable Development Fund. In 2008-09 Natural England has been able to add 2 per cent. to AONB core grants. Core funding is based on a formula which, among other factors, takes into account the area of each AONB. However, funding for projects has had to be prioritised to those of highest importance and those which AONB partnerships are locked into, such as Heritage Lottery Fund schemes. As for the Sustainable Development Fund, each AONB can bid for up to £61,666 from Natural England. There is, therefore, no strict correlation between the area of any one AONB and the amount of total funding it receives and it is inappropriate to relate the total funding of any AONB to its area.

The total funding being provided by Natural England to each of the AONBs for 2008-09 is:

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£

Arnside and Silverdale

180,871

Blackdown Hills

213,481

Cannock Chase

185,968

Chichester Harbour

188,816

Chilterns

570,638

Cornwall

235,666

Cotswolds

577,926

Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs

295,501

DedhamVale

202,174

Dorset

314,510

East Devon

205,542

Forest of Bowland

282,639

High Weald

347,067

Howardian Hills

157,666

Isle of Wight

178,177

Isles of Scilly

159,536

Kent Downs

303,727

Lincolnshire Wolds

207,343

Malvern Hiils

186,771

Mendip Hills

213,459

Nidderdale

229,809

Norfolk Coast

198,733

North Devon

186,652

North Pennines

412,846

North Wessex Downs

315,422

Northumberland Coast

178,679

Quantock Hills

207,941

Shropshire Hills

251,306

Solway Coast

177,583

South Devon

202,381

South Downs (Sussex Downs and East Hampshire)

1,049,961

Suffolk Coasts and Heaths

212,371

Surrey Hills

238,186

Tamar Valley

245,166

Wye Valley

168,166

Total

9,482,683

It’s no coincidence that the words ‘Conservative’ and ‘conservation’ sound similar. The Party should remember at all times that this country’s hills, fields, waterways and beaches are an essential part of its special character. The need to protect that should be at the heart of the policy process. Environmental policies, housing policies, ALL policies should be formed with that in mind.

5 comments for: David Cameron on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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