Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Our Own Big Society
County councillors have been getting involved in the important work that’s carried out to protect Staffordshire’s own Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty this week.They were invited onto Cannock Chase by the AONB team to take part in a session which involved discovering more about the nationally protected area. In addition, they were able to gain a better understanding of how Cannock Chase encourages healthy living and community involvement. The AONB, at the heart of Staffordshire, is part of a network of 8000 square miles of AONBs nationally. Cannock Chase AONB is our very own Big Society. Around 40 organisations and individual representatives are regularly involved all year round. Councillors had the chance to meet some of those local residents who are so passionate about the place that they help with its management – from litter picking to developing strategy, they are at the side of the few professionals every step of the way.
Councillors then did their bit to improve the Chase for wildlife and visitors by getting stuck in to a litter pick.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment Mike Maryon said: “I know the county council’s elected members realise what an important asset Cannock Chase AONB is for the county and the region.
“However this session has been great as it’s given them an insight into the work that’s needed to maintain and protect the area.
“All of the organisations involved in this work do a fantastic job and it’s been a valuable experience for our councillors to get involved.”
The county council is an important member of the AONB Partnership along with other borough and district councils. Cannock Chase was designated as an AONB in 1958 and is the largest area of lowland heathland in the Midlands. It also has extensive areas of woodland, parkland, sand and gravel quarrying and mixed agriculture.