Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB monthly report for June

  Posted: 29.06.20 at 09:25 by Simon Amstutz

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Info as at 26 June 2020
The government is constantly reviewing its guidance on outdoor activity during the current coronavirus pandemic. The advice on accessing Green Space, including AONBs, can be seen at: Public Rights of Way remain open, but some facilities remain closed, have limited capacity or require booking.
The AONB team continue to make the following suggestions to those that wish to visit the AONBs:
Plan ahead (as facilities may be restricted). Park considerately. Take your rubbish home.
The following update is to provide a snapshot of current AONB issues. The AONB team continue to deliver its purpose, although some activity such as facilitating volunteer work is restricted due to restrictions imposed due to current pandemic.
1. Opportunity to work with AONB team as Communications Officer
The AONB team has a vacancy for the role of Communications Officer. This half time post will lead on aspects such as branding, website development, social media, newspaper production and media enquiries. If you are interested you will need to be really quick (Closing date is 2 July) see Link
2. Littering
AONBs, beaches and National Parks have seen an unwelcome increase in littering. There have been numerous examples across the two AONBs that have caused distress to residents and responsible visitors and real problems for livestock and wildlife. DEFRA have produced a video to raise awareness of the issue- it can be seen at https://twitter.com/DefraGovUK/status/1274613022808395777 or downloaded from https://we.tl/t-EivRtBg2cT (via We Transfer) for further sharing.
3. Sizewell C: Planning Inspectorate have accepted EDFE application for Sizewell C.
Despite concerns about timing and perceived lack of information made available during consultation phases the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) accepted the Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) for examination. This means PINS is satisfied with EDFE’s pre-application public consultation and full examination of the proposals can take place. The AONB Partnership will seek to engage once more in the process that will have a significant impact on the nationally designated landscape. AONB Partnership responses to the previous consultation phases can be viewed at: https://www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/managing/planning/nationally-significant-infrastructure/
4. AONB grants
AONB Sustainable Development Fund ‘Recovery’ grants will be available in the early autumn in each of the national landscapes. Details will be available in the next couple of months. The grant’s panel would like to support community efforts for wildlife and habitat recovery, by particularly recognising that lockdown may have revealed new opportunities that a small grant (up to c£1,500) can help with. Projects need to complete by March 2021. Following awards made earlier in the year, a survey was recently undertaken to understand if projects could still be delivered despite current restrictions. The AONB was pleased to learn that the vast majority will still be going ahead after making reasonable adjustments to move activity online or to run with lower numbers to allow for appropriate spacing.
5. For your Information...
• East Suffolk Council will reduce vegetation cutting to once a year in around 40 places and will actively encourage and cultivate wildflowers to support local biodiversity.
• Swift boxes and ‘callers’ funded by the AONB have been delivered across the Dedham Vale to actively encourage future nest sites.
• Fen Bridge, East Bergholt has been closed for safety reasons. Diversions are in place.
• Peter Cosgrove has secured the Environment Agency and AONB funded role of River Stour
Enhancement Project. Peter previously ran the Marine Pioneer project, and took up the role on 1 June.
• Shellfish ‘illegally’ harvested from estuaries in AONB. Shotley

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