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LATEST NEWS

LAST UPDATED 27th January 2020

Environmental Apprenticeship Open Day

The Broads Authority is holding a free Environmental Apprenticeship Open Day which is taking place on 19th February 2020 at Whitlingham Country Park. Young people with an interest in nature and conservation are invited to come along and see what it's all about.

There will be:

  • Information on environment and conservation apprenticeships from Broads Authority Apprentices and Rangers
  • A chance for questions and answers
  • Practical sessions where we will go outside and take part in some conservation tasks led by our Ranger team
  • Coffee, cake and time to have a chat!

Anyone with an interest in apprenticeships is welcome to attend, not just those with an interest in the Broads Authority scheme. More information is available on the booking link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/environmental-apprenticeship-open-day-registration-90005213015 (Booking must be made via Eventbrite as spaces are limited to 15 for each session).

Have your say in Norfolk's Local Transport Plan

Norfolk County Council's transport plan describes their strategy and policy framework for transport and is used as a guide for investment priorities as well as being considered by other agencies when determining their planning or delivery decisions. They are currently refreshing the Local Transport Plan so that it covers the period 2020-2036.

They want the plan to reflect the views of local people and stakeholders and are therefore consulting on the key priorities from 13 January – 28 February 2020. Complete this consultation here:

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/policy-performance-and-partnerships/policies-and-strategies/roads-and-travel-policies/local-transport-plan

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.  
 

New pre-school environmental play opportunity

PlayVan for Pre-Schoolers at NWT Cley Visitor Centre on Wednesdays during term time January- April

Adults and pre-school aged children can have fun and learn through play at Cley Visitor Centre every Wednesday during term time between 10:30-12:30. Bring your little ones and enjoy lots of wildlife themed activities using environmentally friendly resources!  Snacks for children and hot drinks for grown-ups will be provided.

Cost: £2 (no need to book)

Full details at:

https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/all-events/2020-01-08-playvan-for-pre-schoolers

Celebrating Crafting Talent in Norfolk Competition

Local artists across Norfolk, East of England have an excellent opportunity to showcase their artistic talents by creating a homemade winter-inspired item as part of a 3-week open competition run by East of England Candle makers Cosy Owl.

Crafters will be able to submit their creation through Cosy Owl's social media competition open to users across Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Whether you're a skilled painter, candle maker, sewer or photographer, they are looking for the best local talent across the East of England to enter original creations. Art comes in many different forms so it is open to all crafters/artists! 

Full details, terms and conditions can be found here: https://www.cosyowl.com/guides/celebrating-crafting-talent-in-the-east-of-england/

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

NAAONB Chair's Conference news & film

The NAAONB Chair's Conference is always a useful opportunity to catch-up on national thinking about the key themes we should be working on. Themes at last week's conference included:

  • Working more closely across protected landscapes, including National Parks
  • Meeting the challenges of the Glover review of protected landscapes
  • Implementation of the NELMS farming test and trials across 12 AONBs
  • Implementation of the commitments in the Colchester Declaration (including Nature Recovery Plans for each AONB and selection and restoration of a key species for each AONB)

However, the main theme was definitely inclusion and diversity.

As part of the Glover Review, Julian Glover commissioned Policy Lab to look at inclusion in protected landscapes, with the resultant film: https://youtu.be/FTKMY-_TjHA

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

Dark Skies Ale

Wondering where to sample a pint or two of the Moongazer 'Dark Skies' gold festival ale, brewed especially for our Dark Skies Festival? See a list of outlets here.
 

Tourism business survey 2019

Tourism in the Wash and Norfolk Coast – successes and opportunities

Does your business or concern look after visitors and tourists to The Wash or North Norfolk Coast? You could win £50 by answering some questions for a new survey looking at the opportunities and challenges for businesses and other tourism providers.
As a thank you participants will be entered into a draw for a chance to win one of three £50 vouchers. Please click on this link to complete the survey
The project is part of PROWAD-LINK, an Interreg-funded project. The research project element is being delivered by the Norfolk Coast Partnership for Norfolk County Council. For more information or the follow up report on the project please contact aonb@norfolk.gov.uk

 

Norfolk Walking Festival - Discover the AONB

As part of the 2019 Norfolk Walking Festival, why not join Norfolk Coast AONB community representative Mike Wade on Thursday, 3rd October on his guided walk, from Ringstead Down to Holme next the sea via Old Hunstanton Park (permission to access the park is only on a Thursday). Booking essential. See here to find out more.

Norfolk Coast Dark Skies Festival

Between 6-22 September 2019 we are holding our first Dark Skies Festival throughout the AONB.  Join us at a number of events and activities hosted by our partners, community groups and businesses to explore our incredibly dark skies and discover their importance for landscapes, wildlife and people. Find out more here.

At the Festival launch on 6 September, we were delighted to announce that two more sites on the Norfolk Coast join Wiveton Down and Kelling Heath Holiday Park as designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites. Congratulations to Barrow Common and RSPB Titchwell. Find out more here.

Update on Glover Review on Fri 19 July 2019

Earlier this week, Julian Glover submitted a letter to Michael Gove summarising the interim findings of the Glover Review Panel. The exchange of letters is available here.

The National Association of AONB's response to this interim update is available here.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership summary response which was submitted to the Glover Review is available here.

Walking for the Glaven

On Saturday 21 September, the Glaven Charity have let us know that they are organising a choice of 10, 5 and 1km fundraising walks through the beautiful Glaven Valley, setting off from the Art Café at Glandford. You can raise sponsorship for your walk or commit to £10 per walker on the day,  or £15 for a Family 1K walk  - tickets can be booked through Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walking-for-the-glaven-tickets-62532902595). Email glavenwalks@outlook.com for details.

Grass cutting on Norfolk Coast flood embankments

The Environment Agency will be grass cutting on flood embankments between March 2019 and October 2019. 'We plan to cut the grass on the embankments to a height of 1.5cm or more. This will also remove tall, woody plants. We plan to cut both sides of the bank in March, including the top of the banks. Between April and August we will be targeting Alexander plants, to prevent them from flowering and seeding, on a 6 week rotation. In September/October we plan to complete another full cut of both sides and the top of the banks. We will use remote controlled grass cutting machines and occasionally ride on machinery with grass cutting attachments. Footpaths will stay open during our work.'

Environment Agency factsheet for the Norfolk Coast open pdf below and for further information on footpath maintenance in the access section.

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

Tick survey volunteers

Public Health England are carrying out a survey of ticks in National Parks and AONBs throughout England and Wales to determine the prevalence of Lyme disease-causing bacteria in ticks in these areas. This project has taken place each spring since 2014, and with the help of volunteers, ticks have been collected from 22 National Parks & AONBs across England and Wales, giving us information which will be used to assess the risk to humans of being infected when bitten by ticks in different regions of the country.

The project will be repeated in 2019, and as it covers a considerable part of the UK, we are hoping that rangers and wardens with knowledge of the local countryside can help us with the survey. This would involve collecting ticks from vegetation during April-May and sending them to us for testing. As ticks are most numerous at this time of year, it hopefully will not take up much time. Instructions and materials required for tick collection would be provided as well as containers and postage for sending ticks back to us.

If you would be interested in taking part, or can put us in contact with someone in the area who could help us, please get in touch and we can provide further information. Dr Ben Cull, Emerging Infections Scientist, Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Emergency Response Department Science and Technology (ERD S&T), Public Health England. ben.cull@phe.gov.uk Tel: 01980 616952 / 07795 353689. www.gov.uk/phe   Follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk

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.

Government review of protected landscapes

Following the promise of a review of designated landscapes in the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has noted:
'Nearly 70 years after the country's National Parks were first established, opening up the countryside and allowing more people to connect with nature, an independent panel will look at how these iconic landscapes meet our needs in the 21st century – including whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 National Parks to expand.'

The review runs to autumn 2019, led by writer Julian Glover and will also explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-parks-review-launched for further details.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership has submitted a response to the December 2018 call for evidence and a summary of our thinking can be found here.

Defra's 25 year plan

Defra's 25-year environment plan 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to
Improve the Environment'  is now available. The document can be found 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