The Shropshire Hills AONB could be expanded into Wales or turned into a National Park under tentative plans.

Journalist and writer Julian Glover visited the area of outstanding natural beauty in the south of the county earlier this year, as part of a government report he is writing on designated landscapes.

The Glover Report will highlight how AONBs and National Parks can be fit for the future.

Now the Shropshire Hills AONB partnership has revealed how a meeting with Mr Glover raised the potential of either turning the Shropshire Hills into a National Park, or extending it into both Powys and Herefordshire.

However, the partnership said the cost of expanding the AONB means it does not currently support the idea.

Phil Holden, Shropshire Hill AONB partnership manager said: “Expectations of the visit ran high, and throughout the visit Julian was keen to keep discussion moving around different topics.

“This is in line with the remit of the review to look at the national system of designated landscapes, informed by local experience in particular areas, but not reviewing or making recommendations on each designated area individually.

“The first quite large meeting was held partly to discuss the potential for boundary extension of the AONB into Herefordshire and/or Powys, and the potential for National Park status.

“A discussion of this sort involving representatives of Herefordshire and Powys is not believed to have happened before.

“Julian and the Defra team expressed thanks to all those involved in the visit and the panel is due to report in the autumn of 2019.

“The issues of potential boundary extension and National Park status have attracted some public attention.

“The AONB partnership itself has not initiated discussions on these topics but clearly must be involved and engaged in such discussions if they take place.

“Contrary to some expectations, the Glover Review is not understood to be likely to make any specific recommendations on these matters regarding particular AONBs.

“It is however likely that more general recommendations made by the review about the process of making boundary changes or new designations, may have some implications for these issues in relation to the Shropshire Hills.”

Mr Holden added that the partnership’s stance on the boundary extension is that it would not currently be justified due to the “considerable costs and resources needed”.