The competition to choose 12 Nature Improvement Areas was launched in July and the closing date was Friday 30th September. An independent panel, chaired by Professor Sir John Lawton considered many exciting and innovative new landscape-scale initiatives before selecting 20 applications to go through to a second round application process this autumn. Of these 20 successful applications, AONBs are leading or supporting 7.
Upon completion of this stage, the panel will recommend 12 Nature Improvement Areas to the Secretary of State who will make the final decisions next spring. The 12 NIAs selected will share a total of £7.5 million over a three year period. A key element of the overall initiative will be to capture the learning and experiences from the 12 NIAs – and with this in mind, Defra is setting up a monitoring and evaluation project to run in parallel with the NIAs.
We wish ArnsideSilverdale, Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs, Dorset, North Wessex Downs, South Devon and Wye Valley AONB Partnerships success in the next round.