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Suffolk Secrets grant cash available for projects in AONB

PUBLISHED: 13:15 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:15 01 November 2017

Environmentalist Gary Lowe, who initiated the Wild Villages iniative for Alderton, Bawdsey, Hollesley and Boyton which has benefitted from Suffolk Secrets funding this year. Picture: JOHN GRANT

Environmentalist Gary Lowe, who initiated the Wild Villages iniative for Alderton, Bawdsey, Hollesley and Boyton which has benefitted from Suffolk Secrets funding this year. Picture: JOHN GRANT

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Community projects that enhance life and landscape in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are being offered a £10,000 helping hand.

Participants in a Beach Bonkers beachcombing event on the Suffolk coast - Beach Bonkers is one of eight projects already benefitting from Suffolk Secrets funding in 2017. Picture: KATE OSBORNE/BEACH BONKERSParticipants in a Beach Bonkers beachcombing event on the Suffolk coast - Beach Bonkers is one of eight projects already benefitting from Suffolk Secrets funding in 2017. Picture: KATE OSBORNE/BEACH BONKERS

The secrets of Suffolk’s coast and heaths have long been out of the bag - the area is widely acknowledged as being one of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich in the whole of the UK.

But holiday lettings agency Suffolk Secrets is making £10,000 available to make the nationally designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) even better.

The agency is urging local community groups to apply for £10,000 of funding before November 15 for any project which helps improve the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of AONB and east Suffolk area. Grants up to £3,000 for part or whole funding are available for any project that meets the objectives of the AONB regarding enhancement and protection of and education about the landscape features of east Suffolk. The fund will also support activities which engage families, particularly those that promote out-of-season tourism or local food producers.

In the second consecutive year that the Suffolk Secrets AONB fund has been offered, £15,000 of the total £25,000 grant has already been allocated to eight community projects completed during 2017.

The diverse projects supported so far this year include the Blyth Woods community woodland project at Wenhaston, Long Shop Museum’s community garden scheme, Kate Osborne’s Beach Bonkers beachcombing walks and events and Poetry People’s Lines from the Landscape poetry workshops. Also supported have been Breadear’s Area of Outstanding Natural Bread project, Dunwich Greyfriars Trust’s website development, Groundwork Suffolk’s Wild Villages initiative in Bawdsey, Alderton, Hollesley and Boyton, and Jason Alexander and Anne Gould’s Love Suffolk Skies venture showcasing the county and its sunrises.

Suffolk Secrets general manager George Bradley said: “As the largest holiday lettings agency in the county and thanks to the generosity of our staff and customers, we’ve been able to help donate over £45,000 to the Suffolk Coasts & Heaths AONB in the past decade.

“We’re delighted that this latest wave of funding will help enable local groups protect, promote and nurture everything which makes this part of the world so special, both for the local community and holidaymakers alike.”

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership chairman David Wood added: “It has been great working with Suffolk Secrets, an important local business, this year on their grant programme, and through these grants giving opportunities to eight projects to undertake activities.

“We are looking forward to a further year of collaboration, not just with Suffolk Secrets, but with the wonderful people, communities and organisations that we can support in 2018 to improve the area for conservation and increase people’s enjoyment of the outstanding landscape of the AONB and east Suffolk area.”

All applications received before the November 15 deadline will be reviewed by the Suffolk Secrets AONB Fund Panel, with successful applications being notified in December. Applications should be directed to Cathy Smith at Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. Fund guidelines and application forms can be found at www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/grants-and-funding, or from Cathy on 01394 445225 or catherine.smith@suffolk.gov.uk.

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