Autumn is well and truly upon us, it is that time of the year to wrap up warm, fill up a flask and be more outdoor.
We have a few exciting updates we wanted to tell you about, read on to find out more about what’s been going on, and what’s coming up…

Experience More Outdoor
We’re working with small businesses and individuals across Kent to create new sustainable tourism experiences that will encourage visitors to discover local culture, heritage, foods, nature and enjoy being outside in our beautiful countryside. Launching from November 2021 visitors could be a ranger for a day, weave a basket, make flower crowns, join nature experts for wine and walking and lots more. Visit our website to find out more.

Art Installations
Six new permanent art sculptures will soon be installed along the North Downs Way National Trail. These will be completed by Autumn 2022. It is designed to entice visitors to stop, rest and enjoy some of the beautiful views along the 153 mile long trail. We also have new signs along the Via Francigena route that should be going in very soon.

Changing Places
We are so delighted to announce that the new Changing Places toilet in Shorne Woods is now open! These new toilets are part of the Kent Downs AONB’s ongoing commitment to understanding and addressing the barriers to accessing the countryside, and supporting greater inclusion in access to the countryside so that more people can enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of nature. Lullingstone Country Park is next in 2022.

Experience Maker Program
The Kent Downs AONB and the North Downs Way are looking for businesses particularly interested in nature and outdoor activities. You may be an established business wishing to connect with nature and the outdoors more. Or you may have little or no experience in the tourist trade but you may have other skills such as forester, artisan, wildlife expert, outdoor yoga teacher, or be an outdoor activity enthusiast.

Check our our upcoming events
Webinar for Farmers, Producers and Landowners
In Person Event for Sustainable Tourism and Agritourism in Protected Landscapes.

Ancient pilgrim routes such as The Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, report an annual 10% increase in numbers, particularly among non-religious growing from 90,000 visitors in 2005 to over 260,000 in 2015. Can partners learn from this success and how can we ensure that growth protects heritage assets and benefits local businesses?

Check out some Pilgrimage Experiences that are now available on Airbnb
Explore the ancient practice of pilgrimage – Airbnb
Experience the hidden gems of a pilgrim’s Canterbury – Airbnb

What’s special about the Kent Downs?
What is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)?
Respect, Protect, Enjoy

For more details on the projects in this email or for more information on working with the Kent Downs AONB please email mail@kentdowns.org.uk