Peninsula's AONB responds to government landscape review

By Derek Davis

21st Jan 2022 | Local News

The Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) of Suffolk Coast and Heaths, which covers the Shotley peninsula, along with Dedham Vale, have today commented on the Government's formal response to the review of protected landscapes.

The chairs of the two AONBs, nationally significant landscapes that cover large parts of Suffolk and Essex, welcome the Government's recent response to the Designated Landscapes Review that reported in late 2019.

The review, led by Julian Glover OBE, the associate editor of the London Evening Standard, leader writer for The Guardian and advisor to Government on the environment and infrastructure, has been summarised as:

National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have not done enough to protect nature or welcome diverse visitors, and extra government funding must help drive radical change.

Simon Amstutz, AONB Manager said: "The review set out a plan for the future approach to designated landscapes and their management.

"AONBs are a progressive way to get things done for nature, people and place. The AONB Partnerships are likely to focus its comments on the Government's response to the review on AONB purposes, powers and resources".

"The AONB Partnerships are likely to welcome a new approach to closer collaboration between the national AONB network, National Parks England, Natural England and Defra on things like resourcing, training, sharing good practice.

"The Partnerships will look closely to what the Government is proposing around AONB governance which should reflect the national importance of the designation whilst keeping decision making local."

Cllr Nigel Chapman. Chair of the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership said: "We would like to see an extension and revision of AONB purposes, as recommended by Glover in the Designated Landscapes Review, to bring them in line with the purposes of National Parks, and more accurately reflect the work AONB teams already do:

Firstly, to maintain the pursuit of natural beauty with a strengthened link to nature recovery on a landscape scale and the importance of cultural heritage.

Secondly, to promote understanding and enjoyment of the area's natural beauty by all our communities."

Nick Collinson, Chair of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership said: "We would like to see a clear vision for how designated landscapes can deliver for nature and help deliver the 25 Year Environment Plan.

"AONB Partnerships should be strengthened and granted greater independence and influence to protect and manage their landscapes.

We need our AONBs to benefit everyone. People living in towns and cities should have opportunities to access and enjoy these places, and benefit from the opportunities for connecting with nature and experiencing the shared cultural heritage that they offer.

We consider that National Parks and AONBs should be engaging with some of the most pressing concerns of the 21st Century, such as climate change, supporting nature recovery, public health, and wellbeing.

Glover recommended an immediate doubling of core funding. We need this to happen over this parliament (three years) as an immediate fix, then would look to work with Defra to develop a dynamic and progressive formula which reflects ambition and future needs."

It has been announced that the Government's response to the review will take the form of a partial response and a short consultation for those proposals where legislation may be required for implementation.

The consultation runs for 12 weeks until Saturday 9 April 2022. The Government will then confirm finally its policy position.

This may be within 12 weeks of the close of the consultation but could take until November 2022 if they decide to legislate and release the policy intentions at the same time as an announcement of a bill for introduction in the fourth session.

To find out more about the consultation and submit a response, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/.

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