Simon's Blog - Nearly 50 Not Out

The staff team at the Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) met last week to start planning celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the designation that will occur in 2020.

It was a moment to reflect on the what the nationally designated landscapes mean. One idea is to celebrate champions or heroes for the areas. We discussed those that have made an important contribution for the benefit the landscapes, wildlife and enjoyment in the AONBs. It soon became apparent that this could be a very long list.

The AONB designation places a statutory duty on all public authorities and statutory undertakers to consider the purpose of the designation (to conserve and enhance natural beauty) when taking decisions. Although the legislation was part of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) we have seen a recent affirmation of this in the recently revised National Planning Policy Framework.

But what really brings the AONB designation alive is the work that countless people do. Work is done in both a voluntary and professional capacity to benefit the landscapes and wildlife of the areas. Whether that is a landowner or farmer delivering schemes to benefit natural beauty, volunteers giving up their precious time to deliver project work or planners taking into account the statutory duties required of them there are countless people doing good stuff for the AONBs.

If you know of someone that has done good stuff for the AONBs then do get in touch, search for our contact details online. We know a lot of folk doing good stuff but suspect there are many more we don’t know about.

First printed in the EADT Sat 15 Sept 2018

By Cathy Smith on October 23rd, 2018

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