Step in Stone was a collaborative, multi-stranded art trail around 3 disused and working quarries in the East Mendips. The project was partly funded by the Mendip Hills Fund and supported by the AONB Unit.
Fourteen artists, all with connections to South West England, created a series of site-specific, temporary artworks for a curated trail in response to the nature of quarries and their place in the cultural and industrial heritage of the region. Contemporary sculpture, land art, photography, textiles, painting, drawing, sound, spatial poetry, and printmaking were installed in the quarries. A programme of workshops, guided walks and artist talks took place in collaboration with Somerset Art Works, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset Earth Science Centre and Mendip Hills AONB. Black Swan Arts, Frome Museum and Somerset Earth Science Centre hosted indoor exhibitions by the featured artists during Somerset Art Weeks Festival ’15. The catalogue of the artwork is available for £3 from the AONB Unit. Limited edition of the map created by Joanna Martin is available at £35.00.
The Quarry Faces project documented the history of the quarrying industry in the Mendips. It worked with schools, local societies and community groups holding talking tea shops and exhibitions at local museums. Legacy projects will be incorporated into the Mendip Rocks framework. For more information visit the Quarry Faces web site.
Both Somerset Wildlife Trust and Avon Wildlife Trust have landscape scale projects to rebuild biodiversity.
Mendip Hills Living Landscape project is working to restore, recreate and reconnect wildlife habitats across this beautiful working landscape. We need to do this because the habitat our wildlife depends on has become fragmented leaving stranded pockets of wildlife vulnerable to changing conditions such as intensification of land management and climate change.
Set up in 2008 began the long process of restoring wildflower grasslands. The loss of 97% of the UK’s wildflower-rich grasslands has had a significant impact on bee and butterfly populations.
Avon Wildlife Trust is a partner in the West of England B- lines project – B-Lines are wide strips of permanent wildflower-rich habitats that link existing wildlife areas together to create a network of habitats. The project will map out a network of potential B-Lines, support landowners and communities in creating new B-Lines, and practically restore wildflower-rich areas. Through our work in Avon, we will be contributing to a national pollinator network that will weave across the British countryside and through our towns and cities.
The historic environment of the Mendip Hills AONB research project was initiated by The Mendip Hills AONB Unit, English Heritage and the Historic Environment Service of Somerset County Council. “The Historic Landscape of the Mendip Hills” is now available from Historic England Sales on to order by calling 01235 465577 or emailing Marston Direct Orders and from the National Trust shop in Cheddar Gorge.
Undertaken by the Reptile and Amphibian Group for Somerset in partnership with the Mendip Hills AONB Unit and Somerset Wildlife Trust. The project aims to restore a network of ponds in the AONB to expand and connect a number of isolated subpopulations of crested newts. Project Proposal (PDF)
The Mendip Hills AONB is a member of the West of England Nature Partnership and Somerset Local Nature Partnership.
Seeks to maintain and enhance the scale and quality of the counties habitats so that they remain special into the future. It wants to make sure that everyone can enjoy nature, wherever they live and to show how supporting nature is good for business and communities.
Seeks to effectively manage the areas natural resources and ensures they are healthy enough to provide critical services into the future, continuing to ensure that the West of England is an area in which people will want to live, work and spend time in.