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About / About the AONB /

AONB Partnership

Northumberland County Council has a statutory duty to ensure that the natural beauty of the Northumberland coast is conserved and enhanced and to prepare a management plan setting how the council’s policies for the management of the AONB.

To assist the council in the conservation and enhancement of the Northumberland Coast AONB, the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership was formed in 2003. Comprising of local people, representatives of statutory agencies and interest groups, the Partnership guides the policies of the council and the work of the staff team.

The role of the Partnership

The role of the Partnership is to pursue and champion the purposes of designation of the Northumberland Coast AONB and to assist in the delivery of the partners’ statutory duties and other management aspirations in respect of the AONB. Specifically the objectives of the Partnership include:

  • to prepare and keep under review on a five yearly basis, a statutory AONB Management Plan on behalf of the Northumberland County Council;
  • to implement and encourage others to implement the agreed AONB Management Plan;
  • to coordinate and demonstrate the protection and management of the AONB according to the purposes of designation;
  • to promote the purpose, importance, characteristics and significance of the AONB;
  • to advise partners on the level of funding needed for AONB management and act to secure funding from a number of other sources;
  • to establish a management structure that is relevant to the objectives of the AONB;
  • to establish and provide guidance to a staff unit to undertake AONB core functions;
  • to advise relevant authorities on appropriate planning policies, and to offer advice on appropriate design and on development proposals which may affect the character and quality of the AONB;
  • to advise public bodies, agencies and statutory undertakers about the impact of their activities on the AONB and engage them in positive management initiatives;
  • to commission research, special studies and monitoring;
  • to establish links, exchange best practice and seek opportunities for joint initiatives, with other AONBs, National Parks and protected areas both nationally and internationally.

The Partnership achieves these objectives principally through its role in steering the work of the Partnership Staff. From time to time the Partnership may establish and agree terms of reference for any other panels or working groups it feels are necessary to assist in the delivery of its objectives.

Current membership

This table shows the current AONB Partnership.

Patrick Norris Special Interest Member (recreation) - Chair

Charles Baker-Cresswell

Special Interest Member (farming and business)



Cllr Colin Hardy

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Les Bowman

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Glen Sanderson

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Wendy Pattison 

Northumberland County Council

Peter Sutherland

Country Land and Business Association

Cllr Jen Hall

Representing Parish Councils in the north of the AONB

Lydia Speakman

Natural England

Sarah Tunnicliffe

Historic England

David Robertson

National Farmers Union

Heather Harrison

Environment Agency

Andrew Poad

National Trust

Vic Brown

Northumberland and National Park Local Access Forum

Clr Adrian Hinchcliffe

Representing Parish Councils in the south of the AONB


Northumberland Tourism

Jude Leitch

Special Interest Member (business and tourism)

Colin Barnes

Special Interest Member (land management)



Agenda for the next Partnership meeting

18th June 2024 at Boulmer Memorial Hall 

1. Welcome and apologies
2. Election of Chair and Vice Chair
3. Minutes of the last meeting and matters 
4. Questions from members of the public 
(maximum of 5 minutes each)
5. Staff team update
6. Governance review
7. Budget and business plan
8. Management Plan review
9. Parish Council reports
10. Partners’ updates
11. Dates of next meeting


The AONB Staff Team

The work of the AONB partnership is supported by a staff team.

In order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the AONB a small team works closely with landowners, government departments, parish councils, local communities and other stakeholders.

Members of the team are available to answer any queries regarding the AONB and its management

Iain Robson - AONB Manager

Mobile: 07774 715744

Sarah Winlow - Historic and Built Environment Officer

Mobile: 07966 330042 (Mon - Thurs)

Mark Middleton - Nature Recovery/Farm Advisory Officer

Mobile: 07517 555887

Helen Wilson-Beevers - Communications Officer

Mobile: 07355021601

Emma Wilson - Volunteer and Access Officer

Mobile: 07816603953 

Theresa Glynn - Administration and Finance Officer

Mobile: 07966 330465 

The Postal address is:

County Hall
NE61 2EF

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