This Area is So, So Special! Cathy's Blog
Here in the AONB team there is lots going on across both the outstanding landscapes of Dedham Vale and Suffolk Coast & Heaths. We deliver projects such as our Pollinator Patches, produce guides for enjoying recreation time, develop ideas with partners about how best to deliver improvements to our natural diversity, get involved with local communities to enable them to make local improvements, engage in the planning system, offer grants and make bids for funding. Phew!
Simon, the AONB Manager, once summed us up (and its worth quoting again): What we do relates to protecting the natural beauty of the area, facilitating projects that enhance the area’s landscape and wildlife, influencing planning policy and consents, and informing as many people as possible about the special qualities of the area.
We don’t have too much time for navel gazing but sometime we realise with pride how much is being achieved to conserve and enhance the areas, and it isn’t down to a few people in an office. There are no Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty without the people who live in, work in and visit them, and no quality to our landscape without all the communities, partners and organisations who care. We believe that it is the quality and diversity of our natural and cultural heritage that makes living here special.
That is certainly true for me – I moved here over twenty years ago ‘temporarily’, and having come from working in London I planned to return to its excitements quite quickly. I, like many, got drawn in… and although I am not born-and-bred-Suffolk, please let me stay! I like our famous skies and commuting past woodlands on my way to the office, I like glimpsing the waters of the estuaries and sea across low lying fields and gentle slopes, I like trying to guess the names of the birds around us and I like the landscape diversity of each mile – none of this monotonous same-old, same-old landscape for us!
The AONB takes pride in being champions of the place and its people, and we thank everyone for caring as much as we do!
(First produced for the EADT Nov 2016)