The Lincolnshire Wolds were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1973, today there are 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales.
Forty years on from the creation of the Wolds AONB delegates from around the country came to Market Rasen Racecourse to consider the lessons of the past and talk about the future of a cherished landscape.
Chairman of the Lincolnshire Wolds Joint Advisory Committee Lewis Strange said: “We are here to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the designation of the Wolds as an Area of Natural Beauty, a nationally important and protected landscape, and discuss how we can best take forward the delivery of the new ‘Management Plan – 2013-2018’.
“We welcome the views of all who live here on how we can sustainably develop the area with tourism in mind.”
Heading the speakers’ list was Howard Davies, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for AONBs. Other speakers included Steve Jack, the Wolds AONB Manager, Liz Bates of Heritage Lincolnshire and James Marshall of Natural England.
All agreed that management is the key to the future.
Potential threats include wind turbines and other possible intrusions on the landscape.
Howard Davies said: “I am delighted to be here at this conference and have had a very warm welcome.
“This is a nationally important landscape and the future is about the right development in the right area.”
On the subject of wind turbines he added: “This is a local planning decision. In some AONB’s there are some small turbines.”
Coun Strange added: “Lincolnshire has the view that turbines in the Wolds should be single turbines of no more than 17 metres high.”
Summing up the views of the 150 delegates he said: “We agree we must not close our eyes to the future of this landscape.”