IW AONB Management Plan

Local authorities with an AONB in their administrative area must produce and subsequently review an AONB Management Plan. The plan should “formulate their policy for the management of their Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and for the carrying out of their functions in relation to it.” For the Isle of Wight AONB, this is undertaken by the AONB Partnership with a formal adoption of the plan by the Isle of Wight Council.


The AONB Partnership also oversees the delivery of the Plan over its five year cycle.

As well as being a legal requirement, the initial preparation and subsequent reviews of the AONB Management Plans represent an opportunity to draw together all interested parties to generate long-term visions for the area, set an agenda for change and manage such change effectively. It is also a useful educational tool, helping to change attitudes and behaviours. 


The first statutory AONB Management Plan was produced in 2004 and this will be the fourth iteration of the statutory plan.

Purpose of the AONB Management Plan

The overall aim of AONB Management Plans is to ensure continuity and consistency of management over time. It places a focus on the primary purpose of the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty with social and economic issues covered in terms of how they relate to the primary purpose.


The Isle of Wight AONB Management Plan:

  • Highlights the distinctive qualities of the AONB. Identifies the changes and issues affecting the AONB.
  • Presents a vision for the future of the AONB as a whole, in light of other national, regional and local priorities. Sets priorities incorporating specific objectives that will help to secure that vision.
  • Clarifies the role of partners and other stakeholders, identifying what needs to be done, by whom, and when, in order to achieve the Plan’s objectives.
  • Identifies how the objectives and actions will be measured and reviewed. Raises the profile of the AONB and its purpose.

In terms of its legal status the Isle of Wight AONB Management Plan:

  • Is statutory, in that the Isle of Wight Council is required by law to produce and review an AONB Management Plan.
  • Formulates the policy of the Isle of Wight Council for the AONB and for Council functions that have an impact on it.
  • Demonstrates the commitment of public bodies, statutory undertakers and other stakeholders to the management of the AONB.
  • Does not override other statutory plans, strategies and land management schemes within the AONB, but seeks to support and influence them.