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Latest news

LAST UPDATED 4 April 2020

Responsible reaction to CV on the Norfolk coast

Visitor centres, cafes, take away outlets, bird hides and the majority of car parks on the Norfolk coast reserves are closed. Visitor numbers have dropped to a low level. We thank the public for following government advice and staying home.

In line with current government guidance, the single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

More guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

Stay safe and well, everyone.

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 aonb@norfolk.gov.uk (with photo permission of course).

Office update

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 aonb@norfolk.gov.uk. 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.

2 minute beach cleans UPDATE

The 2 Minute Team have decided to withdraw as many of their #2minutebeachclean #2minutelitterpick and #2minutestreetclean stations as possible from today (22/3/2020). This is to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection. Time to stay home and do a #2minuteunderthesinktidy or make them a video for their new #2minutesofpositivity campaign. Do not add to the crowds. Thank you.

The 2 Minute Foundation is a registered charity that is devoted to cleaning up our planet 2 minutes at a time and believe that simple, achievable acts can add up to make a great difference. Further details are on their website https://beachclean.net/

Tourism businesses CV update

VisitBritain/VisitEngland have issued the following guidance for tourism businesses:

Following the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday outlining further steps to tackle the spread of COVID-19, including a three-week closure of non-essential businesses and premises, we wanted to share some links and guidance which you may find useful in these challenging times.

Also see:

  • We have added a new section on the Business Advice Hub dedicated to supporting tourism and event businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Join our new social marketing activity to remind visitors of Britain with inspirational content including recipes, film and TV, literature and more. 

 

As ever, we are here to support you wherever possible and we will continue to share the latest official advice and support as soon as we can.

 

See all COVID-19 updates for businesses

Government guidance on green space

The Government has issued advice on accessing green space, including AONBs, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces

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

Illustration for Latest news

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.  
 

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