Over 90% of the UK population now lives in an area where local government has declared a Climate Emergency – unprecedented recognition for the need to act on the causes and impacts of the Climate Crisis we face.

With native species and habitats in decline like never before, AONB Partnerships have made a formal commitment of their own, to increase the scale and pace of delivery for nature, in the form of the Colchester Declaration.

Protect & Recover

The declaration is a joint AONB pledge  – launched at the 2019 Landscapes for Life Conference in Colchester (hence the catchy name) – to collectively protect what remains and recover what has been lost in our natural environment.


We believe

  • Natural Beauty has intrinsic value and means so much to people
  • AONBs should be places of rich, diverse and abundant wildlife
  • Nature recovery is central to the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty
  • Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity and one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Designated landscapes offer some of the most powerful solutions to the challenges of climate change
  • The network of AONBs and National Parks, their teams, partnerships, authorities and stakeholders offer a unique solution to tackling environmental challenges

Our Approach

By July 2020 we will outline our approach to:

Nature Connectedness

Read more about the strategy and principles underpinning our work and how we’re working to create opportunities for people to make an emotional connection with nature.  

Nature Recovery

Planning an approach to working in partnership for the recovery of declining wildlife and habitats. View an outline of our proposals for nature recovery and an interactive report of the East Devon AONB’s State of Nature below.

Pearl Bordered Fritillary Butterfly

Species Recovery

View our outline proposal for our species recovery approach and visit our Saving Special Species project pages to find out how we’re working to support and conserve endangered species in the East Devon AONB.  

Find out more

Our ambitions for nature

Read the Colchester Declaration details and an outline of our proposed approach to delivering nature recovery, nature connectedness and species recovery pledges in the East Devon AONB.

Working with partners

South west AONBs are working together and engaging though Local Nature Partnerships to deliver the Colchester Declaration, specifically Nature Recovery Plans. Read the south west regional briefing note for more details.

Targets Beyond 2020


By 2024 we will work to:

  • Embed an ecosystems services approach in our AONB Management Plan
  • Ensure our AONB Management Plan includes meaningful measures around climate change mitigation and adaptation, including clear, measurable targets to support Net Zero


By 2030 we will work with partners across all AONBs to ensure:

  • At least 200,000 ha of SSSIs in AONBs will be in favourable condition
  • At least 100,000 ha of wildlife-rich habitat outside of protected sites will have been created/ restored in AONBs to further support the natural movement of plants and animals
  • At least 36,000 ha of new woodland will have been planted or allowed to regenerate in AONBs following the principle of the right tree in the right place
  • At least thirty species relevant to AONBs will be taken off the ‘at risk’ list by 2030

More to Explore

East Devon AONB Projects

We lead, partner and support projects that focus on a wide range of themes, including landscape and heritage, environmental quality and climate, biodiversity, recreation and tourism.

Outdoors & Active

Whether you prefer walking, cycling, running or playing, everyone feels happier and healthier when they spend time in nature being more active.

East Devon Way

Discover the hidden gems of East Devon and explore this much loved walking route that links 40 miles of public footpaths, trails and bridleways.