Dorset AONB Partnership Board Meeting, 10am, Tuesday 23 rd Feb 2010, Weymouth Avenue Pavilion, Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester

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1 Dorset AONB Partnership PO Box 7318 Dorchester DT1 9FD 5 th February 2010 t: e: web: Dear Board Member Dorset AONB Partnership Board Meeting, 10am, Tuesday 23 rd Feb 2010, Weymouth Avenue Pavilion, Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester The meeting will start at 10am (refreshments from 9.45am). If you are unable to attend it would be helpful if you could send a briefed representative. Please confirm attendance to Katharine Wright on or AGENDA 1 Apologies for absence 2 Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising 3 2-minute partner news & issues affecting the AONB 4 Rural Roads Protocol: 22 months on 5 Progress update on the current AONB work programme 6 AONB Annual Forum proposals 7 Updates from Heritage Committees and other partner organisations 8 Any other business 9 Dates of next meetings: all Weymouth Avenue Pavilion a. 11 th May 2010 b. 5 th October 2010 c. 8 th Feb

2 Weymouth Avenue Pavilion [map] 2

3 ITEM 2: Minutes of the last Dorset AONB Partnership Board meeting held on Wednesday 28 th October 2009, Weymouth Avenue Pavilion, Dorchester 2.1. Present: Tim Frost Dorset AONB Chairman, Cllr Hilary Cox (Dorset County Council), Cllr Starr (Purbeck District Council), Cllr Margaret Leicester (Weymouth and Portland Borough Council), Cllr Marjorie Snowden (West Dorset District Council), Cllr Michael Cox (North Dorset District Council), John Stobart, (Natural England), Hilary Jordon (West Dorset District Council), Kevin Morris (North Dorset District Council), Sam Rose (World Heritage Team), Dick Preston (Forestry Commission), Tom Munro (DAONB), Sue Mitchell (DAONB), Sue Dampney (DAONB), Jennifer Clarke (DAONB), Sarah Harbige (SDR project Officer) 2.2. Apologies: Cllr Debra Croney (North Dorset District Council), Steve Marston (Natural England), David Evans (West Dorset District Council), Mark Sturgess (Purbeck District Council), Andy Foot (NFU), Helen Mann (The National Trust), Shane Gould (English Heritage), Don Gobbett (Dorset County Council), Peter Moore (Dorset County Council), Alison Turnock (DAONB) 2.3. Minutes & matters arising: ACTION: Amend minutes of July meeting: Cllr Starr from Purbeck District Council did attend, and add Cllr Margaret Leicester s apologies. AONB Team Manager gave an update on progress with the Memorandum of Understanding: NE is developing a template for use with all AONBs nationally; to be released in due course for March sign-off Review of Partnership Board meetings & Annual Forum AONB Team Manager presented the paper. Comments on change to structure of Board Meetings: Cllr Cox & Cllr Leicester spoke in favour. No comments were made against the proposals. Comments on proposals for Annual Forum: Sam Rose & Kevin Morris spoke in favour. No comments were made against the proposals. ACTION: AONB Team to come up with a venue for a summer forum in Question of clarification: Dick Preston asked how many Board meetings are held every year. AONB Support Officer replied 3 plus a forum is normal Update progress on 2009/10 work programme It started with a presentation from SDR Heritage Officer, followed by verbal reports as per paper by AONB team members. Updates since papers were sent out are: SULIS bid had been rejected by their decision board Sam Rose asked if we got a full explanation of why the Woodlink application was not successful at the LAG. AONB Manager explained the various programme items and how some were deemed ineligible by the LAG Executive, to the extent that the project was not deliverable. Cllr Snowden asked who sits on the LAG AONB Manager gave a brief rundown. Cllr Leicester raised concerns over the viable options over Waterborne Transport. AONB ART officer replied this is only at the investigation stage to know it in the future waterborne transport can be an option in the future. 3

4 An additional item that was not on the agenda that has occupied the AONB Team was the office move back in County Hall during August 09. AONB team manager welcomed visitors whenever they were passing Update on the Sustainable Development Fund: As per paper, with updates from AONB Support Officer on progress of approved projects: Sydling Play area all complete Axe and Water vole Recovery scrub clearance staring soon Beach clean inter schools art project completed and display in DCC foyer during October Himalayan Balsam Project all compete Darwin Project ongoing Purbeck School guardianship project students going out on 4 visits during November Cattistock Allotments ongoing Okeford Fitzpaine all complete 2.7. Consultation Response: Weymouth Options for Growth: Comments: Hilary Jordan said that this was a good and helpful response, complementing that given by Natural England Updates from Heritage Committees and other Partners: a. North Dorset Countryside & Heritage Panel: no meeting held so nothing to report. One can be held if any pressing matters are arising from the Dorset AONB b. West Dorset Joint Advisory Committee: the Committee itself is currently under review and Members had visited the last Purbeck Heritage Committee to learn from their success, in order take the WDJAC forward. Consultation will be held to learn from lapsed members the reasons for non-attendance and to absorb any suggestions as to how to improve the Committee s function. The DAONB Commutation Officer highlighted that it should be a way of delivering the Dorset AONB Management plan, along with other projects at a much more local level Date of next meeting: Tuesday 23 rd February 2010, 10am, Weymouth Avenue Cricket Pavilion, Dorchester 4

5 ITEM 3: 2-minute partner news & issues affecting the AONB 3.1. Following agreement at the last Partnership Board meeting, we invite all Board Members & Attendees to give a short verbal update covering headline news & issues from their organisation which is pertinent to the AONB. For example, these verbal reports could include: a. Actions by which your organisation is helping to implement the AONB Management Plan b. Forthcoming projects / planning issues about which you are aware that are likely to have impact (positive and negative) on the AONB c. Areas of work arising that you think requires the AONB Team s engagement ITEM 4: Rural Roads Protocol: 22 months on Item for: Report by: Information Dorset County Council Financial implications: Officer time. Summary: Recommendation: The Rural Roads Protocol was adopted as policy by DCC in April An officer from the Highways Team has been invited to give an update on progress and the various pilots implemented. The Board considers the progress made towards implementing the Rural Roads Protocol 5

6 ITEM 5: Progress Update on the Current AONB Programme Item for: Report by: Information AONB Team Financial implications: Delivery based on agreed budget and business plan. Summary: Recommendation: The AONB team continues to make great steps to implement the AONB Management Plan. The Board notes the progress made towards delivering the AONB Management Plan Recruitment a. Jake Hancock has been recruited to the position of Wildlife Project Officer. Jake will be working part-time on the project to March 2011 alongside his own conservation grazing business. Jake brings a wealth of agricultural and environmental management knowledge to the team, as well as a can-do attitude and a willingness to get stuck in. b. Interviews were conducted for the Countryside Officer post in December. The best candidate was offered the position but declined to accept; other interviewed candidates were not entirely suitable for the position Wildlife Sites Project a. Jake Hancock has been appointed to this position, and started in early January. b. This project is implementing Dorset s LAA National Indicator 197 (Local Wildlife Sites), and as such its measure of success is the percentage of Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCIs) under good management. c. The projects has a target of bringing a further 85 sites into "good management" by 31st March a 6.5% improvement. d. The project includes a capital works fund of 99,000 that will be administered by Dorset AONB following the model of Pastures New for works on SNCIs. The fund will help managers of SNCIs currently not in "good management". Those sites will be eligible for grants for projects which directly benefit the nature conservation value of the site. e. Jake can be contacted on or - the project will be completed by 31 st March Woodlink Project a. The Woodlink Steering Group met in December. b. Further development work on Woodlink delivery will be a key part of the incoming Countryside Officer s role South Dorset Ridgeway Project a. The interim report and claim for the project was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We have been awarded 63,800, which now means we have now received 90% of the grant with the remaining 10% due when final report is completed at the end of the project. 6

7 b. The Oral History project continues, with new volunteers working in Osmington and Martinstown. Audio clips will shortly be uploaded to the website. On December 8 th we held an afternoon tea in Broadmayne for 25 people associated with the project in the village. Georgie Green from Trilith gave a short presentation and the group listened to clips of recordings already collected. c. live IT love IT film IT. An artist, Jorn Ebner has been appointed to lead this film project with young people. We will be holding 3 taster workshops during February in which participants will be encouraged to develop their proposals for a 3 minute film that captures the spirit of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Jorn will then work with 3 groups during Easter. Jorn will also be developing his own short film. The outcomes will be available from the website and be screened during the South Dorset Ridgeway Festival. d. Dorchester Roman Festival 20-23May The project is supporting this event as our re-enactment event this year. The focus of the weekend will be in Maumbury Rings and feature Legio II Augusta. The festival is also supported by Dorchester Town Council and Dorchester BID. e. The South Dorset Ridgeway Festival. The two week programme from 16 th 31 st July 2010 is now confirmed and has been registered with the Festival of British Archaeology. We will also be linking events to the Hardy Festival and the Jurassic Coast s Celebration of Stone programme of arts events through the summer. The programme is a varied one of talks, walks and workshops which should interest a wide audience and raise the profile of the Ridgeway and project yet further. f. The Inland Coast Path has been re-named the South Dorset Ridgeway. This 17 mile trail between West Bexington and Osmington Mills is now being re-branded and will remain part of the family of National Trails that are waymarked with the acorn symbol. New distinctive South Dorset Ridgeway' waymark discs have been put in place but it will take some years to phase in new oak fingerposts along the route's entirety, so for the time being users will find the trail signed as both the South Dorset Ridgeway and the Inland Coast Path Interreg bid a. The INTERREG bid being developed with the South West Protected Landscapes Forum and 3 Parcs National Regionales is going through its third iteration, under the name CORDIALE (COoperation for Rural Development through Integrated Approaches to LandscapE) b. Dorset AONB s intention is to undertake a local, two-phased project to fit into the whole; shared experience and mutual learning is to comprise the global output of the project. c. Stage 1 will be to map out, within a target area, opportunities for increasing the resilience of the landscape to climate change ie habitat connectivity within the agricultural majority of the landscape. d. Stage 2 will be to work with landowners, using a number of incentives, to implement management changes in areas that are key to increasing habitat connectivity and with it, resilience to climate change Winterbournes & Wetlands Project a. South Winterbourne restoration: Kingcombe Aquacare was appointed to carry out the restoration work at Winterborne Came, which was identified as a good restoration project in a previous report by the River Restoration Centre. An excavator was used to reinstate an ancient and natural route of the stream, following a more meandering route. The previous, canalised route of the South 7

8 Winterborne has also been reprofiled, and although it is still relatively straight, it is much more natural in cross section. The banks will be seeded over the winter to encourage growth of vegetation to stabilise the banks. The work was funded by the Environment Agency and the Weymouth Relief Road Landscape Enhancement Fund. The following sequence of photos shows the work develop. b. Dorset Wild Rivers: a multi-partner bid has been developed to tap into available funds from Wessex Water (among other sources). Delivery will be through a number of organisations, led by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. It is envisaged that this project will build on and subsume the Winterbournes Project; DAONB will retain a strong steering role Rural Roads Project a. AONB continues work with DCC Highways to raise awareness externally and within DCC Highways about DRRP. Discussions and advice with engineers regarding individual schemes. b. A new small group (replacing Rural Roads Task & Finish Group) has met and progress on the DRRP was reported. It is of concern that little consultation or discussion is encouraged regarding policies or signing off of schemes to avoid further damaging publicity. Also that training and information has not included Dorset Works Organisation and other on the ground staff. c. B3517 Coast Road Project support to Project and Board Group. Walkabouts with Parish representatives in Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury and Portesham have taken place to discuss elements of the scheme. d. Work has commenced with ARTO and consultant Ben Hamilton-Baillie on a practical toolkit to assist parishes reclaim their village streets and spaces from traffic and hard engineering solutions to speed and safety issues. It is expected to be completed later in the spring. English Heritage and Institute of Incorporated Highway Engineers are both keen to support the toolkit with their endorsement which will raise its profile to a national level, like Reclaiming Our Rural Highways. 8

9 5.8. Dorset & East Devon Coastal Corridor Plan a. Public Consultation on the Plan has now closed. There was a good response (around 50 comments) which is currently being reviewed. b. A Steering Group meeting will convene in April to discuss comments, review actions already completed and plan future work with partners Undergrounding power lines a. Discussions with Western Power continue through Dorset AONB s part on the steering group. The opportunity to progress an undergrounding scheme in the Western Power distribution area is great, however expectations need to be managed: in this funding round it will not be an enormous scheme. b. Discussions are progressing with partner organisations to put forward some candidate lines for West Dorset c. Letter sent to parishes requesting nominations for candidate lines and village schemes Waterborne Transport Study a. Sue Mitchell is project managing the development of a scoping report examining the long term potential for waterborne transport along the Jurassic Coast WHS of Dorset & East Devon. b. Stage 1 report was presented at a well-attended event at The National Sailing Centre, Weymouth and is available on DAONB website. c. Funding has been secured for Stage 2 (Feasibility Study) and brief agreed with maritime consultancy Fisher Associates. d. Stage 2 is scheduled to complete by July Norden Park & Ride Site a. As a result of recommendations in the Jurassic Coast Transport Infrastructure Report (commissioned by DAONB 2008) work has commenced with Purbeck DC officers to explore opportunities at Norden P&R site to make it into a multi-modal transport hub. b. An audit of car park and footpath signage has been undertaken and footpaths and also potential walking and cycling routes from the site. c. Funding has been secured from several sources including Local Transport Plan to progress these early actions Communications update a. The Love for the Land photo competition closed at the end of November and judging of the 100+ entries was done by photographers Dave Penman and Sue Macpherson. They were impressed by the quality of entries and were pleased the images brought out lots of very different special features of the Dorset AONB. The winning photo by Kevin Freeman was used on the cover of the Love for the Land 2010 calendar, which was distributed as a thank you to people who have been involved in the AONB over the past few years. b. The South West Coast Path team has just heard of its success with its RDPE bid for Unlocking our Heritage project. We have met to discuss AONB input into the project and look forward to inputting into the interpretation elements of the project. c. The South West Protected Landscapes Forum Communications Group met at the end of last year to agree priorities for joint communication. We will together promote the joint Commitments signed to at the end of the year and focus on biodiversity to 9

10 fit in with International year of Biodiversity, which the National Association of AONBs has also signed up to Consultation responses made on behalf of the AONB Partnership: a. Planning Purbeck s Future Core Strategy b. The Dorset Heathlands Interim Planning Framework c. Permitted development rights for small scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure d. Draft National Policy Statement for Energy Infrastructure (response in progress) e. Natural England Coastal Access Consultation (Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009) f. Swanage Household Recycling Centre g. Mountjoy School (Beaminster) ongoing h. Beach recharge, East Beach, West Bay Closer Working with Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB a. There are benefits to be gained from the two AONB s working more closely. Both Teams have met to discuss opportunities for joint projects and sharing expertise. b. As a result Sue Mitchell and Emma Rouse are working together on a Traditional Fingerpost Project. This will be launched through an article written for the Dorset Magazine (by Sue Mitchell) which will appear in the March edition. c. Jen Clarke and Sue Mitchell (as appropriate) attend CC&WWD AONB Planning and Transportation Group to contribute information. 10

11 ITEM 6: AONB Annual Forum proposals Item for: Report by: Information AONB Team Financial implications: c 1500; to be taken from a budgeted total of 7000 for running the Partnership (to include Partnership Board meetings, Forum, Chairman expenses, subscriptions, etc) Summary: Recommendation: 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. Following the Board s recommendation in October 2009, the AONB Team has been compiling proposals on a summer with in with a biodiversity theme The Board approves the proposals 6.1. Date & Venue a. 22 nd June 2010 b. Studland Village Hall 6.2. Draft format a Welcome & short presentations b Poster session with case studies illustrated and described by various members of the Dorset Biodiversity Partnership c Lunch d Field trips to at least 4 local venues 11