back Partners

Natural Enterprise

Natural Enterprise is at the heart of many Island activities aiming to support and develop the Isle of Wight’s rural economy and communities. We manage the Isle of Wight LEADER project, which enables farmers, foresters and rural communities to expand and enhance their activities. We are also working with Island food businesses to create a stronger sector.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. They are treasured places in England and Wales, where the landscape is considered worthy of protection by law for future generations.

The primary purpose of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation is the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty (which includes wildlife and cultural heritage as well as scenery).

The relationship between people and place is critical to the future health of the AONB designation. Living landscapes need sustainable vibrant communities, where there is a balance between the social and economic needs of communities and the protection of the environment.

The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1963. It covers about half the Island and is made up of five distinct land parcels. Following the increased profile and protection afforded to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000, the Countryside Agency (now Natural England) and the Isle of Wight Council signed a Memorandum of Agreement setting out a new partnership approach to managing this valued designation.

Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission is the Government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodland and increasing the value to society and the environment. The Forestry Commission manage their Island woodlands according to Forest Design Plans.

The objectives of these are to:

*Demonstrate sustainable use of the woodlands and manage them in accordance with the UK Forest Standard (UKFS), the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS) and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000/1)
*Support and enhance biological diversity within the woodlands
*Protect and enhance special sites for conservation within the woodlands
*Encourage people to appreciate and enjoy the woodlands in a sustainable way
*Protect and conserve archaeological interest within the woodlands
*Ensure that forestry operations take place at a scale and frequency that is in keeping with the surrounding landscape
*Provide income from the marketing of timber products and the provision of recreation facilities
*Provide further opportunity for partnership working