Three new areas of Suffolk coast added to ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’ spot
- Credit: Paul Sawyer
Three new areas of Suffolk’s coastline are being added to a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The environment secretary George Eustice has confirmed that 38 square kilometres of estuaries south of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area will be included in the AONB.
The Stour estuary, the Freston Brook valley and the Samford Valley are now all included, as well as some areas of the nearby Shotley Peninsula plateau.
These spaces are considered to be some of the most important wildlife estuaries in Europe, with wildfowl and waders now receiving extra protection.
County councillor David Wood, chairman of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB partnership, said: “We are delighted that this order has been confirmed.
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“The AONB partnership, made up of public, private and third sector organisations, has had an aspiration to bring the benefits of the designation to a wider area for over 20 years.
“Locally we have always known that the area identified in the Order was outstanding, and with this news we can be confident that the natural beauty of the area will be conserved and enhanced for future generations.”
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The move is hoped to benefit local businesses and the tourism industry, with holidaymakers drawn to the beautiful Suffolk landscape and wildlife enthusiasts keen to see the wildfowl and waders that reside in the AONB.
England’s 34 AONBs, nine National Parks and the Broads Authority area represent the country’s finest countryside, spanning from Cornwall to the Lake District, offering a wealth of opportunities for both people and wildlife to benefit from the countryside.
Designated landscapes cover a quarter of England’s land and are home to over 2.3 million people – with more than two-thirds of people within half an hour of a National Park or AONB.
They also generate more than £20billion for the rural economy, and support 75,000 jobs.
Mr Eustice said: “The Suffolk Coast and Heaths is a landscape rich in history and a source of inspiration to countless artists, writers and musicians, and these extensions are a worthy addition especially during this unprecedented time, when many of us are connecting with nature more than ever before.”
The last time an AONB was extended was the nearby Dedham Vale in 1991, which covers many of the landscapes painted by John Constable, including the historic Flatford Mill.