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Due to the current restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the AONB team will be operating from home for the majority of the time. If you need to contact us please email us individually or email our general account on  

The current restrictions are affecting everyone's home and work lives and the AONB activities are all being impacted in varying ways. We are looking at ways to adapt and are contacting parties we are partners with to confirm how we address the current circumstances. Please let us know if you feel we can help clarify anything further.   

Our advice on getting out and about in the great outdoors is to strictly adhere to the government guidelines on social distancing and travel. Please refer to for further advice. For local information visit the Devon County website.  

As our East Devon Farmers Group continues to grow, increasing from its original 55 to 69 members, the interest amongst East Devon farmers for understanding and contributing to conservation practices is clear.

Our recent ‘Carbon Event’ had the largest turnout for a group session so far, as members gathered to learn more about carbon and emissions in agriculture and how they can tackle key environmental issues on their farms. The event also attracted Farm Advisors keen to learn more about on-farm carbon accounting.

Becky Willson, project manager of the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit and creator of the ‘farm crap app’, delivered sessions to help group members understand how to reduce emissions and improve soil health, carbon-capture (sequestration) via soils, hedgerows and trees and business resilience. 

Find out more
Woodbury Wide Awake produced a short documentary as part of a sustainable community project funded by the East Devon AONB SDF fund.

The East Devon AONB Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) aims to help and encourage local projects, big and small, that will explore and develop ideas that bring social, environmental and economic benefits to our AONB communities.

This financial year, we have secured a further £20,000 for new grants, and applications are NOW OPEN to local initiatives looking to make a positive social, economic and/or environmental impact. We hope, despite the current restrictions of COVID-19, the SDF can be put to positive use to help find ways of strengthening community engagement and action. 

If you have a project in mind that could benefit from our support, visit our Grants & Funding page to find out more.

Funding a festival: Last year the Woodbury Wide Awake project received an SDF grant for their community festival. Between April and November 2019 a wide range of events were organised including public talks, creative workshops, guided nature walks, free family friendly events took place engaging a significant number of residents, visitors and organisations.

An impressive documentary (see above) was also produced as part of the community project, celebrating the life of botanist and illustrator Rev. William Keble Martin, and exploring the ways in which the landscape has changed in the 50 years since he lived in Woodbury.

Find out more about SDF grants
Acland Award nominations are now open

This year the Acland Award aims to celebrate individuals that are playing a key role in enabling others to gain a greater understanding, awareness, experience and enjoyment through their connection with nature and our environment. 

We know from lots of research, that by directly connecting with nature and our environment, we are far more likey to value it and act in a way that is likely to have a positive impact on it in the future. Now, in the current COVID-19 crisis, we recognise this more than ever and we hope we can use the award this year to reinforce the importance of our natural environment, our health and the role of others in helping us appreciate this. 

Do you know of an individual that is making a difference in your community that deserves special recognition... and the chance to win an award for their hard work? 

Find out more

ELMs Tests and Trials

After Brexit, the annual subsidies farmers receive under the EU common agricultural policy will be phased out and replaced by a new UK scheme – the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS).

DEFRA have commissioned over 100 ‘tests and trials’ to help shape the new scheme and the East Devon AONB is one of 12 AONBs in England selected to feed into this process.

Our ‘Test and Trial’ will focus on the Umborne Valley, an area chosen for its density of smaller farm and land holdings and its rich mosaic of good quality, herb-rich meadows; a nationally scarce habitat.

Subject to the COVID-19 restrictions, between now (Feb 2020) and March 2021, the project will explore how farmers might work together to achieve positive environmental outcomes, specific to the Devon climate and traditional ways of managing the land, and as a result access support under the proposed new scheme; promoted as ‘Providing Public Money for Public Goods’.

Read more

Following the successful Art on the East Devon Way and Tree to Sea projects, the East Devon AONB have again partnered with the Thelma Hulbert Gallery to explore creative connections with the landscape and our natural environment. 

As a result of the COVID-19 situation the Culture and Climate 2020 programme has been cancelled; exhibitions, symposiums and events which were to be set against the context of the Devon Climate Emergency declaration and joint project-partner, the University of Exeter’s declaration of an environment and climate emergency. Activities were planned at the University, Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and diverse locations across East Devon.

An acclaimed British land artist, Richard Long’s work is built around ‘walking in nature’ and is part of a touring collection of over 1600 artworks, by more than 42 major international artists, owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. The exhibition ‘ARTIST ROOMS Richard Long – Being in the Moment’ launched the project at THG in Honiton on February 22, but due to the current COVID-19 situation the gallery is now closed and the programme is being reviewed.

Find out more
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