LAST UPDATED 13 September 2019
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. email@example.com 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