LAST UPDATED 17 JULY 2020
Stay safe on the Norfolk Coast this summer
Organisations along the Norfolk Coast are working hard to make the area of outstanding natural beauty safe for day visitors and holiday makers.
Most public toilets and car parks are now open and many pubs, restaurants and other businesses have re-opened, though there is still a reduced level of parking, catering and toilet facilities in some areas. More detailed information is available from individual organisations and businesses via their websites and the media.
A group of Norfolk Coast Partnership members is working to share good practice, address issues and record the many actions taken to get ready, from King's Lynn in the west to Great Yarmouth in the east. Their advice is that, if people decide to visit or come on holiday, they should plan in advance, stay safe and be considerate to the local communities and wildlife.
Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty manager Estelle Hook said: "If you plan to visit the coast, please follow the common sense guidelines of the coastal code to help keep the area beautiful for everyone."
The Coastal Code
How to enjoy, respect and protect the Norfolk Coast
Enjoy your visit and stay safe: prepare maps, guidebooks and other information to take with you; take account of weather conditions and tide times (www.ukho.gov.uk/easytide); check online for up-to-date advice and any restrictions – for example limits to access in the bird breeding season.
Respect people and place: read local updates and act on the advice given; walk or cycle or if you use a car, drive and park responsibly; keep to paths and leave gates as you find them; use public waste bins or take litter home; shop local and use local services.
Protect the area and its wildlife: take care not to disturb wildlife; keep away from cordoned areas; ensure you don't harm, destroy or remove any wildlife, plants or rocks; only light fires and BBQs in designated places
Times to take extra care: At breeding times and when over-wintering, animals and birds and their young are particularly vulnerable. Check your visits don't disturb them. Bird breeding season is the beginning of March to the end of August. Bird wintering season is the beginning of November to the end of March. Common seal breeding season is the beginning of June to the end of August. Grey seal breeding season is the beginning of November to the end of January.
Guidance for dog-walkers: Be aware of and adhere to restrictions limiting where dogs can go; keep your dog close to you and under your control; use a lead when needed or requested; prevent your dog from approaching cordoned areas; bag and bin your dog's poo.
This coastal code is available in a number of languages at:
New NCP small grant fund now open
We are pleased to advise that the Norfolk Coast Partnership Small Grant Fund is officially open. We are now able to offer small grants of between £500-£3,000 for local, community projects which bring environmental benefits to the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty and its communities. Projects which encourage people of diverse ethnicities, age groups and accessibility needs to experience and enjoy the area would be particularly welcomed. For further details see http://www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/partnership/ncp-small-grant-fund/1227
Management Plan Consultation
The draft Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Five Year Strategy (2019-24) consultation was launched on Monday 13 July 2020. The review process has included focussed Partnership Forum meetings, workshops, discussions and 1-2-1 meetings over the last 2.5 years and has taken into account new ideas, as well as a wealth of significant new local, national and international information.
We welcome comments and suggestions by Friday 25 September 2020. Full details of the reason for this review, different versions of the document and how to provide feedback are at:
2020 Norfolk Coast Guardian
Our 2020 edition of the Norfolk Coast Guardian has been published. Paper copies will be available as soon as social distancing restrictions to protect us all from Covid-19 are lifted.
In the meantime do enjoy the online version: Norfolk Coast Guardian 2020. .
Nature connection whilst at home
Following the latest government announcement that people can resume 'unlimited outdoor exercise' and 'driving to other destinations', the people, communities and wildlife of the Norfolk Coast are facing an increase in visitors. While it is not in our nature to encourage people to stay away, it is currently vital that we do so to ensure these special places are not overwhelmed. In many places on the coast there is not the infrastructure to support the necessary social distancing or to protect the vulnerable wildlife, communities, staff and volunteers.
We've prepared some information to help you enjoy nature whilst at home which you can find here; http://www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/partnership/nature-connection-whilst-at-home/1226
Weybourne to Hunstanton stretch of England Coast Path
Read the update from Natural England regarding progress on the Weybourne to Hunstanton section of England Coast Path here
Holkham to Wells coast path work completed
The Holkham to Wells section of the Norfolk Coast Path has fully reopened following surface improvement works.
The two mile stretch between Holkham and Wells had been closed for eight weeks to upgrade the surface, and remove a kissing gate to improve access for disabled people, pushchairs and cyclists.
23 March 2020
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Norfolk Coast Partnership staff are home working, or may be absent, and this could lead to some delays in answering calls and responding to emails. We are not checking the office phone for messages. Please use email as first choice of communication. Our general office email is firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to ensure that our online shop orders are sent out, but inevitably some delays are likely. Thank you for your patience.
Norfolk Coast AONB Scout & Guide Challenge Badge
The Norfolk Coast Partnership are pleased to bring you a Norfolk Coast Challenge for Scout and Guiding members of all ages. This challenge resource has been approved by Norfolk Scouts and Girlguiding Norfolk Commissioners and all activity link providers. There is a lovely unofficial/non-uniform/blanket badge available to purchase for all who take part.
The Challenge consists of;
- Taking part in at least 4 activities from our partnership members - we've recommended age groups but feel free to mix and match
- Getting out and exploring by visiting at least one site within the AONB - why not stay in the area on a residential or even sleep out under the stars?
At present (March 2020) strict travel restrictions are in place due to coronavirus which will obviously result in groups currently being unable to visit the Norfolk coast. However, most of the activities in the challenge from the Norfolk Coast Partnership are suitable for Scouting and Guiding members to do at home. Once groups can start meeting again, how great would a visit or sleepover at one of our beautiful coastal venues be!
Feel free to share the activity links and downloads with your Scut and Guide groups and help them stay connected with nature at this time. Do let us see what they have been up to via Twitter @NorfolkAONB or by email to email@example.com (with photo permission of course).
Planning for Housing within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) is the collective voice of the AONB Partnerships and Conservation Boards and represents the AONB network on issues of strategic national importance. Read their key messages and position statement http://www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/partnership/planning-development/1055
New film to help protect Norfolk seals
The Norfolk Coast Partnership has launched a new film this week in a bid to help protect new born seal pups on the coast.
The film's release comes after two pups died at Winterton due to human intervention last week. Made by students at City College Norwich, The Grey Seals of Horsey tells the story of the efforts to look after one of the UK's most successful breeding seal colonies.
Students Ellen Sherwood, Sam Askew and Joe Ewing filmed the Friends of Horsey Seals wardens group guarding the 'rookery' as a group of seals is known.
The Norfolk Coast Partnership commissioned the film to help explain the key points – that the seals are magical but to protect them all visitors need to listen to wardens, keep to the paths and a distance of an absolute minimum of 10 metres away – at least the length of a bus - and stay on the landward side of the seals. The pups are vulnerable to disturbance and we are all responsible for them.
Peter Ansell, chair of Friends of Horsey Seals, said: "We have this year 250 volunteer Wardens in total sharing the patrolling from Horsey to Winterton, and although the situation at Horsey is quite stable, the pups at Winterton, now double the amount of last year at 500, are causing concern as they spread into the dunes and further south towards the car park. My message is for Winterton visitors to be extra vigilant as a large number of seals and pups are almost invisible until the last minute, and please, if you have to take dogs along, ensure they are kept on a very short leash."
The 10-minute film was made by Twin Panda Productions, a company formed by students on the Media Learning Company course at City College Norwich. Short clips featuring the most important seal watching advice are also being produced to share on social media.
The Grey Seals of Horsey is available to view at https://youtu.be/XuTb8MsDIz0
Natural England status report
Government's advisor, Natural England, have produced a report on the condition of the North Norfolk coast's natural environment following an evidence-based review assessing the condition at the coastal landscape scale. This is a new and different approach from site based monitoring. Find the report here.
Defra's 25 year plan
Defra's 25-year environment plan 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to
Improve the Environment' is available on the www.gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/673203/25-year-environment
Identifying Quaternary Local Sites for Norfolk Planners
Can you help the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership? Norfolk has 41 SSSIs designated primarily for their Quaternary interest (making 39% of the regional total) and also has a wealth of sites outside the SSSI system which also deserve consideration by planners as County Geodiversity Sites (CGS). Since 2008, the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership https://sites.google.com/site/norfolkgeodiversity/home has audited these local sites and has identified a shortlist of 303 candidate CGS which have primary features of Quaternary interest. We need to transfer spatial information about these sites onto the County Council's GIS system so that they can be identified in the planning system. Further details click here.
Development in AONBs
A debate in the House of Commons about development in the AONB received this response from the DCLG (now DHCLG!): "Areas of outstanding natural beauty have the highest status of environmental protection in the national planning policy framework, which states: "Great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty". In the year to March 2016, only 0.2 per cent of the Chilterns AONB was given to residential buildings. I can confirm that the Government are committed to retaining this protection, and it will not be weakened through our planning reforms. The interpretation of the NPPF protection for AONBs is in the first instance for the local authority to determine and thereafter, if relevant, for the planning inspector."
See the 1st PMQs of the 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvABRub3_io&index=1&list=PL40441042C458B62B