AT a recent meeting of Vaga Probus Club, Ross-on-Wye, Andrew Blake from the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) first explained that the AONB was located in both England and Wales and has £500,000 p.a. funding with five staff.

Working with the Joint Advisory Committee (which comprises Local Councillors, the National Farmers Union, the Country Landowners Association, and a number of conservation bodies) it runs numerous projects and develops and supports diverse local initiatives.

His first slides beautifully illustrated the spectacular and changing scenery as the river flowed to Chepstow from Mordiford.

Further slides showed how the landscape had altered many times over the last 250 years.

The first tourists had travelled down the river from Ross to experience and record in paintings views of the Picturesque, experiencing the heavy industrial works of the time set against rugged scenery and woodlands rising on either side.

He referred to the successful projects that had been undertaken by the AONB in recent years. ‘Overlooking the Wye’ had run many events relating to the Picturesque Movement, including restoring view points at Piercefield Park.

The biannual ‘Wye River Festival’ continues to engage communities along the river in a multitude of events from painters, musicians and entertainers to children’s events and lectures. Questions from members included woodland management, planning issues, fishing, cycling, early industries and future plans.

Please see website for further information on all aspects of its work.

Vaga Probus is a men’s only group that meets twice monthly in Ross. Visitors are very welcome, please contact the secretary on 01989 568705 for details.