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LAST UPDATED 29 November 2018

50th anniversary of Norfolk Coast AONB
On April 8, 2018 a year of celebrations of the Norfolk Coast AONB 50th anniversary kicked off at Cley with the launch of a book of poems and pictures titled 'Walk With Me'. Find out more about the 50th anniversary

Norfolk a World Class Environment

Do you have a role in protecting Norfolk's environment or in land management?

Do you want to be part of developing an Environment Plan to secure support for the future of our special landscapes?

You could be part of a key environment planning partnership for the county

An event hosted by the Norfolk Rural Strategy Steering Group is being held at the King's Centre, Norwich on Wednesday 12th December 2018 9am-4pm. The aim is to establish a new partnership to coordinate the development of a local Environment Plan, a vital tool in prioritising initiatives and securing funding in the future. It will set out the need for a local response to the Government's 25-year Environment Plan and explores some of the key themes, giving you the opportunity to put your questions to our panels of experts.

To find out more and book your place go to

Coastal sand dune project

Norfolk County Council are holding the first stakeholder meeting for ENDURE, a project looking at the resilience of coastal sand dunes.  The focus of this first meeting will be an introduction to the project followed by identification of key messages, key audiences (those utilising/accessing dune network) and behaviours to target.  The eventbrite link includes further information about the project and event, however please do not hesitate to contact Mel Gillings or Alex Larter in Community & Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council if you have any further questions. If anyone wishes to attend we would appreciate it if they could please register using eventbrite .

Hunstanton draft Neighbourhood Plan

Consultation about the Draft Neighbourhood Plan for Hunstanton
In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012, Hunstanton's Draft Neighbourhood Plan is now out for consultation and publicity. The Plan can be inspected at the Tourist Information Centre, the Hunstanton Library or be obtained from the Town Clerk. Representations should be made to the Town Clerk and be received by 18 January 2019 by post or e-mail to Further details on Hunstanton Town Council website 

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 is to be 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 for further details.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership will consider any opportunities provided by the review as further details are published.

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 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.

World Listening Day - 18-19th July 2018

Sounding Coastal Change delivered a 24 hour live radio broadcast for World Listening Day from 4am on Wednesday 18 July to 4am on Thursday 19 July. 

Resulting from collaborations with local organizations and individuals, the broadcast included live discussions, a documentary made by the Year 6 pupils of the Pilgrim Federation of Church of England Primary Schools, a new radio ballad featuring interviews with local residents, recordings of live music events, digital sound art, Sound Arks, and environmental sounds including the Dawn Chorus.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership was delighted to be involved:

  • Estelle Hook represented the Norfolk Coast Partnership alongside George Revill of the Open University, David North of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Victoria Egan of the National Trust in a discussion about coastal change led by Joe Smith, Director of the Royal Geographical Society and member of the Sounding Coastal Change Advisory Board. 16:00-17:00 on Wednesday 18 July.
  • There was a broadcast of interviews recorded with our guests at our 8 April celebration event, kindly compiled and edited by Richard Fair of The Forum, Norwich. 17:00-18:00 on Wednesday 18 July.
  • Kate Dougan talked about our commitment to dark skies and reducing light pollution.

     Have a listen to the whole 24 hours, or just the Norfolk Coast Partnership sections, here.

National Association Conference - 24-26 July 2018

Brain Long, Norfolk Coast Partnership Chairman, attended the National Association of AONB's Landscapes for Life Conference in Kent, accompanied by Estelle Hook and Lucy Galvin from the staff team.

With a theme of Shaping the Long View, delegates took part in plenary sessions, site visits, briefings, and social events. We looked at how the work of the AONB Family achieves clean air, clean and plentiful water, and thriving plants and wildlife. We also investigated how we can help to reduce the risk of harm to people, the environment and the economy by using our natural resources in a more sustainable and efficient way, with an ultimate aim to ensure that the natural beauty of AONBs is valued and secured, enhancing the beauty and heritage our natural environment for future generations.

AONB summer newsletter

The summer 2018 edition of Wide Skies our AONB newsletter can be found by following the Wide Skies link where previous editions can also be viewed

First time at the Royal Norfolk Show - 27-28 June 2018

Poetry reading

Poetry reading

​As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations of the designation of the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty, for the first time ever, the Norfolk Coast Partnership took part in this year's Norfolk Show on Wed 27-Thur 28 June. We shared a 'Mini Deepdale' stand with some of our local tourism businesses (Deepdale Backpackers and Camping, Dalegate Market, MarGins Glamp and Walk and Retro Camping Norfolk).  This was particularly appropriate as 'the coast' was one of the main themes of the show for 2018. 

We had a little celebratory event at the stand on the Wednesday evening, with drink and nibbles and some live music, and we were delighted that one of our poets read her poem from our 'Walk with me' book. And our stand won 'best tourism stand' too!

Wells Heritage Art Trail - 23 June 2018

Prize giving

Prize giving

On Saturday 23 |June, Estelle Hook represented the Norfolk Coast Partnership as one of the judges at the official opening of the Wells Heritage Art Trail, and also announced the prizes.

26 artists, chosen from all over Norfolk, have created 17 works of art in a variety of styles and materials - responding to aspects of the town's life, location , and history.

Thanks to the other two judges (Caroline Fisher and Liz Falconbridge), Simon Daykin and the rest of the Wells Maltings team and particularly to John and Yvonne Milllwood, who put in a huge amount of work to curate the Art Trail.

The full trail is in place until 30 September, with some pieces remaining in situ after that. There is a map available from Wells Maltings or there are details on page 12 of our free annual Norfolk Coast Guardian newspaper.

Wayfaring - 21-27 May 2018

Wayfaring at night

Wayfaring at night


As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we were proud to be partners in an arts event entitled 'Wayfaring', along with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Holkham Estate, Activate and artists And Now:, with funding from the Arts Council.

Wells-next-the-Sea was the atmospheric setting for the first stop on Wayfaring's journey along the protected landscapes of the Icknield Way, during the week of 21 May. Artists And Now: spent the week creating an evolving installation using found materials, as well as some inspired input from visitors and local schoolchildren, with the Norfolk Coast Partnership funding the transport to allow over 400 local school children to take part.

Friday and Saturday night then saw the installation transformed into two wonderfully contrasting live events; the first misty, cold and reflective, and the second filled with light and celebration. 

New coast bus operators

From the 30th April 2018 the famous Coasthopper bus service has changed operator from Stagecoach. The service will be run as a joint operation between Lynx buses operating the service between King's Lynn and Wells under the Coastliner branding and Sanders Coaches operating between Wells and Cromer (*with links to Mundesley and North Walsham) under the Coasthopper branding. Further details about the service in the public transport section.

Natural England response to Coastal Access concerns

Natural Englans says:

'Natural England is currently consulting on its proposals for the England Coast Path between Weybourne and Hunstanton. Unfortunately however a misleading article in the Sunday Times on the 22nd of April suggested these propose a total ban on access to areas of salt marsh. This is not the case and has created a lot of confusion and concern amongst local walkers and common rights holders. Natural England would like to correct this misunderstanding and reassure local people that the proposals do not affect any existing access to the marshes for common rights holders or walkers using the marshes through informal agreement with the landowners.' The full response can be read in the PDF below.                 May 2, 2018

NFU Farming Conference

Secretary of State Michael Gove sets out the direction of travel for our farming industry at the NFU Farming Conference 2018. 'We want a healthy and beautiful countryside, producing food that makes us healthier as individuals, in a society which has a healthier attitude towards the natural world, an attitude that values permanence, where we wish to preserve and enhance natural capital and where we value the traditions and the virtues of rural life.' Michael Gove's full speech can be read on

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

Paralytic shellfish poisoning incidents

Pets becoming ill after consuming items on beaches
Eastern IFCA (Insore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) have issued a press release on their website  at .

Advice extracted from the press release: There is no risk from the presence of PSP toxins in seawater, and the test results from sampling undertaken so far does not indicate that such contamination currently exists. Recreational users of the coast, in particular dog walkers, are advised to take simple precautions to prevent their pets from consuming anything found on a beach. Whilst walking on the coast, these may include keeping their pets under close control, on leads or muzzled, if considered appropriate.

Dr Andrew Turner, from Cefas, said: 'There is no risk to people or animals from the seawater. The only risk is from ingesting PSP-contaminated animals found on the beach, so simple precautions should be followed to ensure that pets and people do not eat anything they find on the beach.'

National Assocation of AONB Annual Report

As part of the NAAONB response to the Prime Minister's announcement on the Defra 25-year plan, we published our annual report on the work undertaken by the AONB Family in 2017. The report shows that over 2.2m people visited an AONB last year and 108,760 hectares of countryside were improved for nature and wildlife. Facts that chime well with the content of the PM's speech. The Annual Report can be viewed on

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 website at

Rationalising the Main River Network update

The Environment Agency has been working with a number of internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs to consider the option of re-designating several sections of watercourse, in a number of locations across England, from main river to ordinary watercourse – a term they refer to as de-maining. Consultation on the proposals to re-designate stretches of the main river watercourse to an ordinary watercourse in Suffolk will begin in January 2018. They will be following a different timeline for the Norfolk watercourses, with formal consultation now taking place later in 2018, once the proposals are fully developed and approved. The watercourses in Norfolk that the proposals affect are: 

  • the River Hun near Holme next the Sea
  • the River Stiffkey near Great Snoring
  • the River Tiffey (also known as Bays River) near Wymondham
  • Tunstall Dyke near Acle
  • Waxham Cut near Sea Palling
  • the Wendling Beck near Dereham
  • the River Tud, west of Norwich
  • the River Whitewater near Reepham
  • Spixworth Beck, north of Norwich
  • Stone Beck, north of Norwich
  • the River Blackwater near Cranworth

Contact Marie Coleman RMRN Pilot Lead, Tel: 02084 747960, Email:

New report on housing in AONBs published

The CPRE and our National Association of AONBs have today published a review of housing in AONBs. An Independent Review of Housing In England's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty 2012-2017. 

In response to the just-published national independent review of housing development in areas of outstanding natural beauty Estelle Hook, acting Manager of the Norfolk Coast Partnership said: "The Norfolk coast is cherished for its landscape which includes a range of housing including modest vernacular buildings. Our aim is to ensure appropriate development maintains this special character, with enough affordable homes to make sure the area stays a living place, not a museum. We do this through working with all partners through our long term, statutory management plan for the coast. (Further information in the Planning section)

Plant recording volunteers

Plantlife are looking for volunteers to record plants in square kilometre plots all over the country as part of the National Plant monitoring scheme. No botanical skills or qualifications are needed - see their poster to discover more about the project.