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Head for the Hills and Celebrate!

2018 marked the the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 40th anniversary of the creation of the North Downs Way National Trail.

Head for the Hills was conceived as a way to do more than just celebrate anniversaries. The project was designed to raise awareness of a special protected landscape and a popular long-distance walking route.

Head for the Hills was an opportunity to do something different. It was a chance to develop new relationships and partnerships and experiment with activities that hadn’t been attempted before. It is these new methods of engagement that set Head for the Hills apart and, consequently, it will shape the community engagement work of both the Kent Downs AONB Unit and the North Downs Way into the future.

The project ran from January 2018 to August 2019, supported by the Heritage Fund. We worked with lots of partners to deliver a programme of events, festivals, outreach days, articles and walks.

By trying new things, from Pilgrims Festivals to working with new groups and by doing outreach work in Country Parks, the Kent Downs AONB Unit was able to

• reach different groups of people and encourage more people to enjoy the landscape
• get feedback from the public about what they wanted to see happen in the countryside;
• raise awareness amongst the general public about the value of protected landscapes and opportunities to access the countryside.

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Our short video highlights our achievements from the year.

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To mark the year, we also chose 50 of our favourite places to visit in the Kent Downs which we hope you will enjoy too: https://www.kentdowns.org.uk/visit/50-places-to-visit/

Use the hashtag #kentdownsaonb on social media so we can see your photos!