The sun shone on the Tamar Valley last weekend as it reached its 25th anniversary since designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
On 30th August 1995, the Tamar Valley was officially granted this national level of protection, to help conserve and enhance natural beauty. Along with National Parks, AONBs represent the finest examples of countryside in England and Wales.
The Tamar Valley was recognised as being a landscape of high visual quality with a unique wildlife resource and remarkable heritage. Other ‘special qualities’ include its rare valley and water landscape with artistic and public appeal.
To mark the occasion, two local businesses were busy earlier this summer brewing and blending.
Bere Brewery, in Bere Alston, produced a light, hoppy ale using 100% Tamar Valley hops. Named Ale of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first brew sold out within weeks. The second brew went on sale on Saturday and is available from Roots & Vines in Tavistock and Bere Brewery itself (see www.berebrewery.co.uk for details of opening times).
Meanwhile, Monarch Liqueurs, home of the Tamar Tipple, paired fruits from Tamar Valley hedgerows to create a blackberry and elderflower gin liqueur, Tamara. Tamara is available to buy from Homeleigh Garden Centre (Launceston and Bude), Endsleigh Garden Centre (Ivybridge), Roots & Vines, Tavistock and online at www.monarchliqueurs.co.uk.
The AONB team had hoped to host a ‘Taste the Tamar’ event in June to celebrate their silver anniversary, showcase the wealth of Tamar Valley produce, and launch the new drinks, but this unfortunately had to be postponed (date yet to be confirmed).
A 25-day social media countdown to 30th August took place across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. During that time, every parish within the Tamar Valley was virtually ‘visited’, highlighting and remembering a variety of projects and milestones from the past 25 years.
Charlotte Dancer, Information & Communications Officer for the Tamar Valley AONB, says, “As we couldn’t meet up physically, this was a great way to acknowledge and thank the many organisations and individuals who have given their time in supporting and helping the AONB team to conserve and enhance natural beauty over the years. We look forward to more exciting projects and even greater joint working to keep our treasured Tamar Valley a haven for wildlife and a living, working landscape.”
The countdown culminated in a new brand being revealed for the Tamar Valley AONB. Over the past few months, much work has been carried out behind the scenes with Cornwall-based Paul Eustice Design, to create a new look for the AONB. The ‘bee’ logo represents a sense of living and working together, with a shared understanding and need to pull together to conserve everything we hold dear within our Valley. We are an industrious and fearless community – a hive of activity and energy. The AONB’s new-look website will be launched very soon!
For further information about the Tamar Valley AONB, please visit www.tamarvalley.org.uk, follow @TVAONB on Facebook and Twitter, or tamar_valley_aonb on Instagram.
main image: Buckland Monachorum (c) Tobi O’Neill/TON Drone Services