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Election of Chair and Vice-Chair
(N.B. In accordance with the County Council’s Constitution, the Chair and Vice-Chair must be County Councillors)
RESOLVED that Councillors Twiss and Chubb be elected Chair and Vice-Chair respectively for the ensuing year.
Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2020, attached.
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2019 be signed as a correct record.
Items requiring urgent attention
Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.
There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.
The Future of the Jurassic Coast
Presentations from the Jurassic Coast Trust and Blackdown Hills AONB.
The Committee received two presentation, firstly, from Mr S Scriven, the Head of Conservation and Heritage at Jurassic Coast Trust and, secondly, from Mr Young, Manager of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Ms K Pritchard, Natural Environment Officer (Partnerships), as follows:
(a) Jurassic Coast Trust
East Devon was home to part of England’s only natural World Heritage Site (WHS). The Dorset and East Devon, or Jurassic Coast, stretched from Exmouth in East Devon, to Studland in Dorset. Since the inception of the Dorset and East Devon Coast WHS in 2001 the day to day management of the site had been coordinated by Devon County and Dorset Councils and, more recently, by an independent charity, the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The value of the WHS to the local area was significant. A 2016 report commissioned by Dorset Council estimated that the WHS brought £111 million per year into the Dorset and East Devon economy annually and helped support up to 2,000 jobs.
The Partnership Plan was reviewed every 5-6 years and the Jurassic Coast Trust had now launched the new 2020-25 Plan. Following consultation, the Plan was formally adopted by the Devon County, Dorset and East Devon District Councils.
Devon County Council made an annual grant contribution to the Jurassic Coast Trust, recognising the significant benefits that World Heritage status brought to residents and businesses along the Jurassic Coast.
Members could play a vital role in promoting the value of the WHS and make an important impact as advocates for it by supporting the priorities within the Partnership Plan.
Further information on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site could be found on the Trust's website.
(b) Blackdown Hills AONB
The Blackdown Hills AONB was one of 34 AONBs in England, holding the same legal status as National Parks. It was split across the Devon/Somerset border covering four Districts, with East Devon District having the largest area.
The presentation covered areas including:
- Nature recovery, climate resilience and nature connection;
- Delivery of multiple objectives to benefit and engage communities;
- Environmental Land Management and farm business transition;
- Core functions;
- AONB Management Plan;
- National landscapes (Glover) review;
- The Colchester Declaration, launched at the 2019 National Conference;
- Species recovery work;
- Creative Cabin – a pop-up visitor centre;
- Woodland target – more trees;
- Natural flood management work on the Corry and Coly catchments;
- Work with the National Grid on Landscape Enhancement Initiative;
- A £1m climate change adaptation project in the Culm catchment; and
- Grant funding secured for work on parts of the Otter and Axe.
Members heard that a new visitor guide had just been produced, which was available both in hard copy and online.
The Clerk would circulate to Members the presentations given at the meeting.
The Chair thanked everyone for their presentations.