Local Authorities have the primary responsibility for the conservation and enhancement of AONBs.  The duty under section 89 of the CRoW Act, to produce a plan giving policies for the management of the area, also falls on the Local Authorities for the area covered by the designation.

The day to day management of the AONB is through partnership working and the invaluable help of the Solway Coast Community Volunteer Group.

Management Plan 2015-2020

Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has launched its Management Plan 2015-2020. Every five years, it is necessary to review and re-publish the Statutory Management Plan for the Solway Coast AONB.

The duty to do this is placed jointly on Cumbria County Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Carlisle City Council, but it is discharged on their behalf by the Solway Coast AONB and members of the public across the area and the adjacent regions to review our Partnership. We encouraged organisations to comment on the draft Management Plan and share their views as part of this consultation.

This consultation ran from December 15th 2014 – February 6th 2015

The Solway Coast AONB covers 115 sq km of the Cumbrian landscape and over 5% of the North West regional coastline, it lies within the boundaries of three Local Authorities namely Allerdale Borough Council (88% of area), Cumbria County Council (100% of area) and Carlisle City Council (12% of area).

It is one of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is the only AONB that is fully within Cumbria. It occupies 59 km along the Cumbrian coastline between Rockliffe West of Carlisle and Maryport in the South, and was designated in 1964.

The purpose of the study is to "inform the management of the areas and to be available for use by the partners, stakeholders and communities."

The study provided an important opportunity to update and to widen the scope of the existing landscape character assessment.

Dr Brian Irving, Manager of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been given an MBE for services to natural heritage and conservation in Cumbria.

Brian Irving has overall responsibility for the preparation and implementation of the Solway Coast AONB Management and Action Plans. He leads the AONB Staff Unit and has for many years, worked along side local authorities, other public bodies, local organisations and local communities to secure appropriate and effective management of the AONB.

Brian Irving was born and bred in North Cumbria, as well as having a vast knowledge of the area, he has many years of experience working in environment. Brian is totally committed to the area and the job and is certainly well equipped to lead the unit and to ensure the Solway Coast AONB continues to provide a sustainable future for the local community and people visiting the Solway Coast Area.

Brian works under the direction of the Joint Advisory Committee in consultation with the AONB Steering Group and the National association of AONBs (NAAONB)



Naomi joined the AONB core team in 2016 after managing the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme for three years. Her role is to work with the AONB Manager to shape and deliver the Solway Coast AONB Management Plan. She is also responsible for identifying, developing and managing projects in the AONB, offering practical advice and effecting implementation.



Michelle joined the AONB core team in 2016. Her role involves developing and operating the administrative systems for the support of the AONB Unit. She also gives similar support to the AONB Joint Advisory Committee and Steering Group ensuring their effective operations. Her role also includes promoting the qualities and opportunities offered by the landscape and heritage of the Solway Coast AONB through effective communication, marketing and social media. 


Graeme has lead the Solway Coast Community Volunteer Group for the last 16 years with responsibility to managing the landscape, infrastructure and wildlife within the AONB and working with local communities, schools, partner organisations, etc, to promote the understanding and appreciation of this unique area.



The AONB is host to the Heritage Lottery funded Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme, a four year project conserving and enhancing the wetland landscapes and heritage features of the Solway Plain. Find out more about the Scheme by visiting
Chris Spencer is the Scheme Manager
Ruth Carter is the Scheme Administrator.
Both staff members are part of the core team and are based in the AONB Offices in Silloth.