The Mendip Hills AONB Unit in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council, National Trust, Somerset Tourism Association (STA) and CPRE are encouraging people to climb Somerset’s landmark hills to enjoy the splendid expansive 360° views over the Somerset Levels. The project aims to improve people’s health, promote appreciation of landscape and benefit local businesses.
AONB Partnership Chairman Dawn Hill secured a grant of £4000 from Somerset County Councils Health and Well Being budget scheme for the project. A promotional video has been produced and is available on the 360° web page of the Visit Somerset web site with PDFs for each hill. The new Visit Somerset app includes a Visit Somerset’s 360°s button. Developing links with businesses continues to both promote the 360°s button and the businesses.
Restoration of traditional highway finger post signage - 2011 – 2014
The AONB Unit is undertaking work with the Highways Authorities to restore finger posts in the AONB. A Sustainable Development Fund grant in 2011/12 assisted towards the cost of restoring 10 Somerset County Council posts and adding a new collar with the name of the junction, the AONB name and logo and grid reference. This work helps raise awareness of the AONB and assist visitors to locate themselves. The unusual post near Tynings Farm, Black Down was restored in 2013. North Somerset Council are currently undertaking work on posts in Burrington Combe and village.
Greentraveller Guide to the Mendip Hills AONB
The Greentraveller on-line guide to the Mendip Hills AONB was launched in 2013 and the Facebook campaign is now running. Greentraveller have already produced guides for a number of AONBs and National Parks that list where to stay, visitor attractions, eating out and activities. This work was part funded by a Sustainable Development Fund grant. A video promoting the Mendip Hills forms part of the on-line guide.
Burrington Combe public toilets – the AONB Unit continues to work with Burrington Parish Council and the landowner, Sir David Wills to retain these toilets since North Somerset withdrew funding. The AONB Unit funded installation of a donation box and information board outside the toilets notifying users of the need for public contributions. With local outdoor activity businesses pledges to contribute annually and the donation box income, the partners are confident of securing adequate funding to cover the annual cleaning and maintenance costs.
Mendip Rocks! Festival
The Mendip Rocks! Festival now in its 4th year runs 27th September – 30th October and includes guided walks, family activity days, quarry tours, talks, and practical conservation activities. Full programme available on the Somerset Trust Wildlife Trust web site
Mendip Rocks! is supported by the Mendip Hills AONB Partnership in collaboration with the Somerset Wildlife Trust and Somerset Earth Science Centre who coordinate the programme and is linked to development of the Mendip Rocks Framework – see below.
Mendip Rocks! Framework –Research, Interpretation and Conservation Project
The AONB Unit with Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset County Council Historic Services, Somerset Earth Science Centre and Wells and Mendip Museum prepared the Framework and held a consultation day in January to discuss it.
An outline plan to include a range of projects is now under development and will be part of a consultation event on Saturday 20th September 2014.
Mendip Rocks! A Framework for Delivery (PDF Docwnload 840KB)
January 2014 Consultation Event Summary (PDF Download 270KB)