Simon's Blog: New Beginnings
It would perhaps be crass of me to ask if all those reading this have kept up their good intentions made in their New Year resolutions. To those of you that promised themselves to move more then I encourage you to look at the websites of the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths. From those websites pick a guide from the publications page and get out and enjoy some of England’s finest landscapes. It is one of the best times of year to enjoy them and their wildlife with the added bonus of avoiding the crowds.
Some of you will have read earlier this week in the East Anglian Daily Times that the value of tourism to local businesses has increased in both of our nationally designated landscapes. This is great news and how I interpret this is that people are demonstrating their enjoyment of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty by getting out and into them and experiencing them at first hand.
Legislation requires all relevant authorities to conserve and enhance these outstanding landscapes. It is not, however, just the enjoyment people gain from being in them, or the positive effect those visits can have on their physical and mental health. The figures announced this week demonstrate that they support our local economy and contribute to the economic prosperity of the area.
The AONB team has some new beginnings too. Some old friends have left and new members of staff are joining. We will refocus our efforts to ensure that the AONBs remain some of the finest landscapes in England, with all that they have to offer in terms of their views, wildlife and recreational opportunities.
So I encourage you all to enjoy the AONBs. This encouragement comes with a word of warning. By walking and cycling to enjoy what they have to offer you may be tempted to eat and drink some of the fine food and drink available in the superb establishments across the Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths. In my view a price worth paying.
First published in the East Anglian Daily Times January 2017