Cathy's Blog - AONBs have an important role

If you’ve been following the news lately (including in these pages) you’ll have heard multiple references to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

AONBs have an important role in our daily lives due to their natural beauty and special qualities. In the news there has been Defra’s Review of Designated Landscapes; discussions about the future of energy; about our Boundary review and new Management Plan; and about Use of Colour in planning and development.

If this has left you wondering exactly what and where the Dedham Vale, Stour Valley, and Suffolk Coast and Heaths are and what they can do for you, then why not use some time over the next couple of weeks to explore with your friends and families, get some fresh air, and find some tranquillity. Our websites offer great ideas for walking and cycling in the Publications pages: and

We may not have mountains to climb or vast deserts, but we have wonderful woodlands of the ancient and newer varieties, at Arger Fen and Tunstall for example, and at this time of year you can see wonderful trunk shapes and twisting branches high into the sky. Our coastal estuaries are over 150 miles of paths and great winter bird watching, our special shingle beaches are a good work out for your legs (in between sofa time), and our River Stour valley is different at every turn as you walk between villages. Places can be muddy, so prepare for a ‘welly good walk’.

The AONBs have a ‘clear sky policy’: open space, long views and great vistas, helping us get much needed sunshine vitamins. Head to an AONB this winter, and dose yourself up with some Natural Health Service!

First published in the EADT 22 December 2018.

By Cathy Smith on January 22nd, 2019

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