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LATEST NEWS

LAST UPDATED 19 March 2019

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 Coast Trust Drop In

Invitation – Norfolk Coast Trust Drop In, 25 March 16:30-19:30 Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Reserve

A new venture, the Norfolk Coast Trust, is applying to become a Community Interest Organisation. It aims to share what is great about the coast and help look after it for future generations, working alongside and supporting the work of all organisations already doing great things in the area.

An informal meeting with presentation will share the vision, hear what people want for the area and recruit helpers. All are warmly welcome to attend the free drop in event, with refreshments, which will be held from 16:30-19:30 on Monday 25 March at Norfolk Wildlife Trust Centre, Cley-next-the-Sea. Presentation at 18:00.

Book via 01263 740008

For those who are unable to make these meetings, the presentation and suggestions forms will be available afterwards online at www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk

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

Sounding Coastal Change exhibition at Cley

The Sounding Coastal Change Exhibition launches at NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre on Sunday, 17 February. The launch event itself, 14:00 – 16:30, will show 'Soundings', the project film made by Gair Dunlop and the 'Blakeney Postcards' composed by Lona Kozik. Both works constitute a unique contemporary sonic and audio-visual record of life on the North Norfolk Coast. The exhibition will then run until mid-March.

The launch event is catered so we would very much appreciate if you could either register through NWT Cley (tel: 01263 740008), the NWT event listing: https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/all-events/2019-02-17-sounding-coastal-change-exhibi.  The Blakeney Postcards are already on the Sounding Coastal Change website http://www.soundingcoastalchange.org/listening

Dr Johanna Wadsley, Research Associate, Sounding Coastal Change. www.soundingcoastalchange.org

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.

Latest edition of e-newsletter

Find the Winter 2018-19 edition of Wide skies e-newsletter in the publications section 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

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 clerk@hunstantontowncouncil.gov.uk. Further details on Hunstanton Town Council website www.hunstantontowncouncil.gov.uk/neighbourhood-plan.html 

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.

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.

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.

Wayfaring - 21-27 May 2018

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. 

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

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

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.

CPRE 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)

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: PSOENS@environment-agency.gov.uk

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.