Hearts were formed across the country in our most loved landscapes on Saturday 21st September at 2pm. For the first time ever, people in all the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) formed hearts to show how much their landscape means to them.
The heart shape was chosen as it represents not only the love for these areas, but also that AONBs and National Parks were originally thought of as the ‘Natural Health Service’. The legislation that allowed the creation of these protected landscapes, the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act was agreed in 1949, the same year as the National Health Service.
From Cornwall over to Kent and up to the North Pennines, staff, volunteers, residents and visitors formed hearts, either using their own bodies at mass gatherings or using objects in the landscape. All the hearts were captured on film or video and shared with others. There are 46 AONBs across the UK, and each one participated.
The Tamar Valley AONB team used two trailer loads of local apples from National Trust Cotehele to form a huge heart, that was later pressed into juice. Charlotte Dancer, Information & Communications Officer says, “Nothing says autumn in the Tamar Valley like apples! We used many different local varieties from Cotehele’s old orchard, kindly gathered by Cotehele staff; the smell of the apples as we created our heart was delicious! ”
Howard Davies, Chief Executive of the National Association for AONBs said, “This national moment kicked off the Landscapes for Life Week, so-called because we’re committed to our iconic national landscapes forever. And those landscapes are so much more than a view – they are landscapes for living. They are a place for nature – which AONB partnerships are actively working to conserve and enhance. They are a place for rural productivity and at the heart of our great British food industry. They are a place of tranquillity, rootedness and wellbeing, treasured by generations of people seeking peace, exercise and leisure; truly out Natural Health Service.”
See www.tamarvalley.org.uk/events to join in with an event near you.