Ideas sought for coastline protection
Conservationists are asking for ideas to help design a five-year plan to protect and enhance the breathtaking beauty of Norfolk's coastline.The Norfolk Coast Partnership published its first management plan for the county's designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 2004, which is due to be updated in the spring.
Conservationists are asking for ideas to help design a five-year plan to protect and enhance the breathtaking beauty of Norfolk's coastline.
The Norfolk Coast Partnership published its first management plan for the county's designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 2004, which is due to be updated in the spring.
The partnership has claimed several successes since the plan was first introduced, and has put its ideas for 2009-2014 up for consultation to hear opinions from anyone interested in the protected area of coastline.
Norfolk's AONB covers 90km of beaches, farmland and mudflats, stretching from Heacham to Mundesley with outlying areas near King's Lynn in the west and Winterton in the east.
Some of the draft ideas include the continued removal of overhead power lines, collecting information on the effect of climate change on wildlife habitats, and to set up an Anglian Rivers Sea Trout Project.
Partnership manager Tim Venes said: “The main vision has not changed but some issues have a higher public profile now.
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“We don't yet understand the impact of climate change. It is difficult to predict the effect on special habitats and farming in the area.
“The idea is to get responses on what we have done so far and find out the things people think are important to do over the next five years. Maybe there are some things we have not thought of yet.”
The Norfolk Coast Partnership is formed from local authorities and other agencies including English Nature, Defra and the Environment Agency.
The team has already set up a volunteer group called Friends of the Norfolk Coast, reviewed the network of cyclepaths, and last year celebrated the 40th anniversary of the area's designation in 1968.
“Most of the things we have set out to do in 2004 have been done in one way or another,” said Mr Venes. “We have also learned some lessons and I hope that will mean we can do things better in the next five years and be more focused on priorities.”
Mr Venes said the new plans would also need to account for a predicted boom in local tourism brought on by the credit crunch, as cash-strapped travellers stay closer to home for their holidays.
“The pressure from visitors is in the existing plan but when we wrote the new draft the financial crash had not yet happened,” he said. “That is something we need to add into the consultation, but we don't know how long it will last.”
The perennial issue of coastal erosion will mainly be dealt with by Shoreline Management Plans operated by district and borough councils.
To view and respond to the draft plans, call policy and partnership officer Estelle Hook on 01328 850530 or visit www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk. The consultation closes at the end of February.