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Malvern Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty Jigsaw Project

The AONB is to the East of the main road going through Cradley village past the Post Office. John Drummond has taken about 60 candidate photographs; 11 have been selected for the Cradley part of the AONB Jigsaw.

AONB map

1 June, 2001

The parish of Cradley and Storridge (including Mathon) forms part of the Malvern Hills AONB. We are in the process of drawing up the new management plan for the AONB and would like to seek your help in canvassing opinions within your parish. These can then be fed into the plan. The procedure for doing this is called the ‘Jigsaw Project’ — your parish being one piece of the jigsaw that makes up the AONB. More details are to be found on the enclosed sheet entitled ‘Introducing the Malvern Hills Jigsaw Project’.

In order to help this process we are writing to all parish councils asking them to appoint a Jigsaw co-ordinator to assist us. The task is not arduous and we hope it will be fun. It involves the co-ordinator organising helpers who would take photographs of your parish and answer a few simple questions. The cost of the films and their development will be met by us. By this process we hope to find out what local people think makes their parish distinctive. This information can then be fed in to the management plan for the AONB.

As officer for the Jigsaw Project, I would be happy to come and talk to your meeting about the project. We hope to run this over the summer months (foot and mouth allowing).

Introducing the Malvern Hills Jigsaw Project

What is the Jigsaw Project?

The Malvern Hills Jigsaw Project aims to give the people who live within the bounds of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) a vehicle to express their views on issues within the area. We especially want to know what makes your parish distinctive. The term ‘jigsaw’ refers to the concept that each parish is a unique and distinctive piece of the jigsaw that makes up the whole AONB.

What is the AONB?

In the hierarchy of protected British landscapes an AONB is second only to the National Parks. Their main aims are to maintain the natural beauty of designated areas and preserve details that make those areas distinct. To this end, their powers have been strengthened by the recent legislation that includes the requirement to draw up a management plan. The legislation compels other statutory authorities to have due regard to this plan. Since this AONB is about to review its management plan, a real opportunity for local people to influence that plan has arisen; hence the ‘Jigsaw Project’.

What are we asking the Parishes to do?

We would like the Parish Councils to appoint a co-ordinator for the project, then let us know who it is. The co-ordinators’ task is not arduous but involves using their local knowledge to get others in their parish who would like to have an input to this project, to participate.

How are participators going to express their views?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we will be asking the participators to take photographs, or perhaps raid their albums, for images that they feel make their parish distinctive. Subjects might include, landscape, buildings, people at work in the parish, wildlife. All photographic costs will be met; all we ask for is their time. However words are involved. Some commentary on the photographs would be appreciated and we will also inviting written views on other topics.

When is this project happening?

The project should progress over the summer and be completed by autumn 2001 (Foot and mouth allowing).

How will your views feed into the AONB Management Plan?

A seminar will take place in autumn with all the participants helping to collate and emphasise the issues that have arisen. Parish Albums will be produced and we hope to construct a large map of the area with a photomontage of the parishes laid upon it. Issues that have been emphasised through your prose and pictures will then feed into the management plan for the AONB. So by telling us what makes your parish distinctive, you will complete your piece of the jigsaw, thereby letting us build up a picture of this diverse area.

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