The High Weald AONB Management Plan is the single most important document for the area; it sets out a vision for the kind of place the High Weald should be in years to come and, crucially, some of the activities that a range of organisations and local people could take to achieve that vision. It also describes in detail the features that give the area its special character, such as an abundance of ancient woodland, scattered medieval farmsteads and a dense network of historic routeways.

There is a statutory duty to review the Plan every five years, and a new Draft Plan has been prepared by the High Weald AONB Partnership, working on behalf of the area’s 15 local authorities. This will be in place for five years from April 2019 to March 2024.

The High Weald joint advisory committee is urging everyone to comment on the Plan’s proposals, focusing on the following sections in particular:

  • AONB Vision and the Statement of Significance – do you agree?
  • The area’s Key Characteristics – has the Plan identified what makes the area distinctive and special to you?
  • What needs to be done – has the Plan identified the activities that would most benefit the landscape and its communities over the coming five years?

These sections are highlighted in green in the Draft Plan, enabling people to quickly and easily find the parts which are most relevant.

How to comment

The Draft High Weald AONB Management Plan 2019-2024 and its supporting statutory assessments can be viewed online at; you can download an interactive Consultation Response Form and send your comments by email or post.

If you don’t have time to comment on the full document but still wish to have your say, you can complete a short online form on the High Weald AONB website.

Printed copies of the Draft Plan and comment forms are available from today at more than 40 libraries and council offices across Kent, East and West Sussex and Surrey, in addition to the High Weald AONB Partnership office in Flimwell. View an interactive map of the locations here or on the official consultation webpage.

Sylvia Tidy, chairman of the High Weald joint advisory committee, said: “The High Weald has been shaped over hundreds of years by the unique relationship between the land and the people who live and work on it – an interaction which continues today. In a time of rapid change, this Plan is an opportunity to ensure that our nationally-important landscape is conserved for future generations, and we want everyone to have their say on how we can work together to achieve this goal.”