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25 July 2012
The Woodland Trust and National Association for Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (NAAONB) are delighted to announce that their ongoing partnership has been made official by the signing of a joint accord at the NAAONB's annual conference at York University on July 19.
The accord, signed by Woodland Trust Chief Executive Sue Holden and NAAONB Chairman Peter Stevens, is designed to underpin the work already in progress between the two organisations across the UK, specifically focusing on the creation of appropriately sited new woodlands and their management.
Sue Holden, Woodland Trust Chief Executive, said:
"We are delighted to take such a positive step with the National Association for AONBs by jointly signing this accord. We have already completed some excellent work together and, by formally setting out our future plans, I hope we can build on this to deliver even greater benefits for people and wildlife.
"The signing is timely, with the publication of the Independent Forestry Panel's final report providing a series of recommendations to take woodland policy forward. Here the Woodland Trust and NAAONB are playing our part to ensure woodland is used to provide the benefits it is so clearly capable of."
Other aims of the two organisations include working together to: engage people in the care and enjoyment of woods, identify and source funding, share expertise and resources and ensure activities are compliant with the UK Forest Stewardship standards for biodiversity.
A great example of a partnership that has helped to create new native woodland for a variety of benefits is the ongoing collaboration between the Woodland Trust and the North Pennines AONB partnership. 176,000 native trees have been planted on the MOD Warcop training area in Cumbria, creating 160ha of woodland. This doubled the existing woodland on the estate, enhancing the military training facilities and providing a habitat for threatened species such as the iconic black grouse.
Vice Chairman of the NAAONB and Director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, Chris Woodley-Stewart, said:
"Both the Woodland Trust and the individual AONB partnerships have considerable experience in woodland creation and management and our AONB teams have close ties with communities and land managers. We think this will be a very fruitful collaboration."
The Trust has also been working with the High Weald AONB, together with the Forestry Commission and Natural England, to encourage private owners of plantations on ancient woodland (PAWS) into restoration management. Tim Hodges, Woodland Trust Woodland Restoration Programme Manager, said: "The High Weald AONB was one of the first initiatives to focus on the restoration of woodland and has been a leader in the field ever since. The accord will help enable this work to be prioritised, and will raise awareness of its importance to all stakeholders."