The Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme (QLPS) is a £2.6m, 5 year project in and around the Quantock Hills. We started on 1st April 2020 so the Covid 19 crisis inevitably had an impact on our first year or so but we’re in full delivery mode now.
Our project area is some 400 square kilometres, essentially the Quantock Hills proper plus the surrounding ring of Parishes. This is roughly twice the size of the AONB.
Landscape Partnership Schemes are all about looking after a particular landscape, in our case the Quantock Hills, and they are about partnership working, bringing a diverse range of interests together to make a real difference to people and place.
We have 23 individual projects, ranging from grants for restoring hedgerows, historic features, and traditional orchards through to educational work with local schools, archaeological excavations, archival research, and a wide ranging and inclusive events programme. There is something for everyone to can get involved with.
The Scheme aims to protect and restore the distinctive features of the Quantock landscape, improve management of the access pressures on the Hills, and make the health and wellbeing benefits of recreation more available to communities in the surrounding towns and villages. We are increasing understanding of the development of the Manorial landscape, how it underpins the character of the Quantocks, and of the wider natural, built and cultural heritage of the area.
The Scheme is also working to increase the resilience of organisations, communities, and individuals, building the capacity and skills of the volunteer base working in the area, and giving more people opportunities to contribute.
The QLPS is 79% cash funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from Hinkley Point C s106 (planning) money, the National Trust, Friends of the Quantocks, and the AONB itself. Volunteer time as help in kind is also a big part of our funding package.
It is hosted and led by the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (QHAONB). The Scheme has a 5 person staff team, assisted by partner organisations, local people and communities, and a wide variety of contractors.
The Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme is
made up of 23 separate projects which aim to
work together to:
For (a lot!) more information download the Landscape Conservation Action Plan or LCAP
The Project Partners
As the name suggests the Scheme has been a partnership from the beginning of its development. It is overseen by a governing Partnership. Until April 2023 all the Local Authorities (County and Districts) were Board members, with Somerset County Council acting as overall lead authority, providing finance and IT systems and employing QLPS staff. Since April 2023, everything has come together under the new unitary Somerset Council.