The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Stour Valley Project Area Partnership produces a Management Plan every five years on behalf of the Local Authorities that operate across the Protected Landscape.
The 2021-2026 Management Plan was launched in December 2021 and will guide decision making in the nationally important landscape. The Plan has been developed in consultation with environmental, commercial, agricultural, and community interests.
The Management Plan sets out the special characteristics and qualities of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley project area and formulates the local authorities’ policies for its management and for carrying out their functions in relation plan-making and decision taking as part of development management.
Councillor Nigel Chapman, Chairman of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Joint Advisory Committee said: “The AONB and Stour Valley is a much loved and precious asset for residents and visitors. It is a working landscape shaped by the actions of the toil of humans over thousands of years. It can play an important role in the production of food, nature recovery and mitigating the impact of climate change.
This plan has been developed in partnership with many individuals and organisations and we must ensure the benefits of the area are enjoyed by everyone. The plan sets out a vision balancing the many complex needs of the area and can contribute to benefits for people, place, nature and the climate.”
To mark the launch of the plan, representatives from the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Joint Advisory Committee joined volunteers at Assington Mill where landscape and habitat enhancement was taking place.
The Dedham Vale AONB is the fourth smallest of the 38 AONBs in England and Wales, comprising of approximately 90 square kilometres along the Essex/Suffolk border. The area has a rich history and heritage, synonymous with the artist John Constable, and the Stour Valley Project area is a distinctive landscape with agriculture at its core.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW Act) requires local authorities to review management plans for AONBs every five years. The AONB Partnership organisations sign a commitment to implement the plan, and agree to share a common vision for the long term care of the AONB.
The 2021-26 Management Plan is the culmination of public and Partnership consultations and sets out a new action plan for how the natural beauty and special qualities of the area will be conserved and enhanced.
Over the next five years the AONB Partnership and team will strive for greater awareness and understanding to enhance this landscape by working with AONB communities, individuals and businesses guided by the Plan’s vision.