information on current projects and initiatives, press releases, events and new publications. UPDATED March 20, 2018
North Norfolk Coast Hygge Fair
Stands for the North Norfolk Coast Hygge Fair are invited for Saturday 24th March. Like last year, the aim is to have an event which promotes things to do on the North Norfolk Coast, helping visitors find their own North Norfolk Coast Hygge. Stalls will be based in the Orchard at Dalegate Market beside the Orchard Tent, which will house around 25 stalls for the Deepdale Spring Market. It's free to exhibit, but this is a cooperative event, so we would expect all participants to promote on social media and their websites. The event takes place from 10am to 5pm, and all stalls would need to be open during that time. Whole Hygge weekend is Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th. We would also be interested in any adding any activities you might like to run to our programme for the weekend. Contact Jason at Deepdale Backpackers & Camping / Dalegate Market on 01485 210256 / 01485 210305, www.deepdalebackpackers.co.uk / www.dalegatemarket.co.uk
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 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/a-brighter-future-for-farming
Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards 2018
The Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership's Community Biodiversity Awards scheme is now accepting nominations for 2018. Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their voluntary efforts to improve their local patch for wildlife? If so, now is your chance to put them forward for a prestigious Community Biodiversity Award! This year's five award categories are: Saving Species; Groups; Young People's Achievement; Nature for Health and Wellbeing; Churchyards and Cemeteries.
The Community Biodiversity Awards raise awareness of Norfolk's wonderful biodiversity, the sense of community and wellbeing that can be found through voluntary activities and championing community efforts to conserve and enhance biodiversity for the common good. The scheme has been running for 15 years, and over that time has celebrated many wonderful groups and individuals who are making a real difference for local wildlife and communities. Winners attend a summer celebration evening which takes place in July in Norwich to receive their award.
Hunstanton coastal management plan
The Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk are developing a Coastal Management Plan for the cliffs and sea defences in Hunstanton and want your input. A Coastal Management Plan (CMP) is a plan for managing a beach at a local level for the purpose of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management, and Hunstanton's will help decide the best way to
• maintain the protection provided by the promenade (and its associated defences)
• reduce the rate of erosion at Hunstanton Cliffs
Read about the plan and complete the online survey at www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/hunstantoncoastalmanagementplan or at the drop-in public consultation event on
27 February 2018, 2pm at the Town Hall, The Green, Hunstanton, PE36 6BQ
Paralytic shellfish poisoning incidents
Eastern IFCA (Insore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) have issued a press release on their website at http://www.eastern-ifca.gov.uk/paralytic-shellfish-poisoning-incidents/ .
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.'
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
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 http://www.landscapesforlife.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Annual-Report-2017.pdf
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
Introductory Astronomy Course 2018
North Norfolk Astronomy Society are holding a introductory Astronomy Course for Beginners at Bodham Village Hall. The 4 evening course is on 23 February, 2, 9, 16 March 2018.
Eight topics area spread over the four evenings to cover the Night Sky, Constellations, Solar System, Planets, Comets, Asteroids, Meteors, Deep Sky, Telescopes and Space exploration. If weather conditions outside are suitable the Society's telescopes will be set up for some practical astronomy.
To book a place, go to http://www.nnas.org
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 we 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. We 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
Marie Coleman RMRN Pilot Lead, Tel: 02084 747960, Email: PSOENS@environment-agency.gov.uk
North Norfolk District Council Business Awards
The inaugural North Norfolk District Council Business Awards are designed to celebrate, promote and unearth the many great things that our diverse range of employers and businesses are doing across the District. The awards are free to enter, and entry takes just a few minutes. Shortlisted businesses in each of the seven categories will be invited to the awards ceremony at Gresham's School next February, where the winners will be announced. Visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/businessawards/index.html and take this opportunity to shout about some of the successes you have enjoyed over recent years.
Have your say on windfarm cable route
Formal Consultation on Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm will involve: Proposed Access Routes; Potential Onshore Cable Corridor Re-routes; Potential Storage Areas; Potential Visual Screening; Potential Footpath Diversion; Potential Offshore Alternative Routes. Where can you view the latest plans? Documents, plans and maps showing the nature and location of Hornsea Project Three can be accessed free of charge from www.hornseaproject3.co.uk, during the Consultation from 23 November until 22 December 2017 at Holt, Reepham, Hethersett, Taverham and Poringland Libraries. (The area of the AONB directly impacted with this proposal is Weybourne inland through an area east of Holt).
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)
Wildfowling on designated sites consultation
Natural England conultation on proposed changes to the assessment and consenting process for wildfowling on designated sites in England. The page outlining this can found here. (https://consult.defra.gov.uk/natural-england/wildfowling-guidance-review/).
Consultation closed on December 1st 2017
Norfolks Biggest BioBlitz
The weekend of 22 & 23 July 2017 saw one of Norfolk's largest wildlife surveys conducted in the county. Norfolk Wildlife Trust with National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and Holkham Estate carried out a BioBlitz stretching from Holme-next-the-Sea in west Norfolk to Salthouse in the east. A BioBlitz is the identification and recording of as many species as possible within a 24-hour period, ranging from small insects to large mammals. Recording of data collected continues with further information and results available on the NBIS website at http://www.nbis.org.uk/CoastalBioblitz_ResultsMap.
It is hoped that this huge BioBlitz will uncover some wildlife treasures that were previously unknown to be present along the North Norfolk coast. All discoveries made during the BioBlitz will be submitted to local wildlife record centres and the National Biodiversity Network to help increase our understanding of how wildlife along the North Norfolk coast is changing and how best to protect it.
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.
Power lines cleared from sight
The Norfolk Coast Partnership has gained agreement for the removal of the overhead electricity lines which run between Burnham Overy Windmill and Burnham Overy Watermill and from the rear of the Watermill south towards the edge of Burnham Overy Town.
The work will be funded by the electricity provider (UK Power Networks) through an allowance approved by the industry regulator (OFGEM) to improve the visual amenity value of lower voltage power lines within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The scheme will provide significant improvement to one of the iconic views/photographs of the AONB, namely the view of the Windmill from the A149, as appreciated by many visitors who pause there specifically to appreciate this historic building.
UK Power Networks is now working to finalise the administrative and technical details and the scheme is likely to be implemented in 2018.