AONB: monthly update from Simon Amstutz

  Posted: 01.09.20 at 13:54 by Simon Amstutz

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August 2020 AONB Monthly update
1. Volunteers Return, albeit in a limited way
The fantastic AONB volunteers had to be stood down during the current pandemic. Following discussion with health and safety experts, our employing local authority and other organisations that facilitate volunteer activity the AONB team is once again facilitating volunteer activity to support the statutory purpose of the AONBs, to conserve and enhance natural beauty. The work will be undertaken to strict protocols relating to travel, activity and numbers attending. Activity will comply with Government advice. AONB Countryside Project Officers are working to deliver safe and useful activity. We once again thank the volunteers for their efforts to conserve the AONBs and their project areas and support their efforts to work safely.

2. AONBs’ Sustainable Development Fund Recovery Grants NOW OPEN
With a deadline of Monday 5 October 2020. Both Dedham Vale and Coast & Heaths have money to support nature and people recovery post lockdown. Full details and the application form are available:

3. Parish Councils and Amenity Societies support Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Work
Each year the AONB team seeks support from the Parish Councils and amenity societies in the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley for financial support. Funds donated support work to benefit the environmental qualities of the area. I’m delighted to say that in the last 12 months the following have been able to support our work: Alphamstone and Lamarsh PC; Clare TC; Dedham PC; Dedham Vale Society; Gt Horkesley PC; Kedington PC; Lt Horkesley PC; Lt Yeldham PC; Little Yeldham, Tilbury Juxta Clare & Ovington PC; Manningtree TC to a total of £3,275. This support is much appreciated and has been used to support the research into ‘Valued Landscapes’ (that informs our responses to planning applications), control on non-native invasive plant species and supporting the volunteer group. I would like to note my appreciation, and that of the AONB Chairman, Cllr Nigel Chapman and his predecessor Robert Erith, to the late Roger Drury who did so much to encourage Parish Councils and others to support our work in this way.

4. Nature Recovery Plans: Your Views Sought...
The Government’s Glover Review into designated landscapes published in November 2019 encouraged AONBs to do more for Nature Recovery. This follows on from the national AONB network’s ‘Colchester Declaration’ to play its part in nature recovery. Local AONBs are developing plans via Nature Recovery Plans. Your thoughts are welcome so please take a few minutes to engage in the consultations at:

5. Free Trees
The Woodland Trust are offering fully subsidised tree packs for farmers and landowners in the Eastern Claylands area, they are available on a first come, first served basis. Info on where Eastern Claylands is at (Click on Tree Packs Collection tab).

6. For your Information...
• AONB Newspapers: We have taken the difficult decision not to produce Autumn/Winter editions of the newspapers. We have developed a protocol to deliver the Spring/Summer editions (that were part of the 50th anniversary of designation celebrations) that were not previously distributed as soon as possible.
• The AONB Partnership colleague, ecologist Seph Pochin, had reason to require the services of the East Anglian Air Ambulance recently. Now recovering he is planning to fundraise for them. If you wish to know more or can help him please visit:
• The Environment Agency sent the following alert on 12 August: We would like to provide some initial detail about low flows noted this week on the River Stour, and particularly in the Nayland area. Our Land and Water team is monitoring the health of the Stour at multiple sites, as well as some monitoring on the Brett. This includes checks on dissolved oxygen levels and watching for signs of fish in distress.

Remember. If you are visiting an AONB, please respect the place and environment. Take your rubbish home, park considerately and support local businesses where you can.

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