Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C


Stour Valley/Sudbury: Proposals to extend an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the north Essex countryside officially submitted

07:00 15 February 2014

Dedham Vale AONB

Dedham Vale AONB

Proposals to enlarge an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the north Essex countryside have been officially submitted for consideration.


The Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Partnership want to extend the boundary of the Dedham Vale AONB westwards towards Sudbury to take in the area covered by villages such as Lamarsh, Alphamstone, Bures and Little Cornard.

Currently, the designated area covers 90sq km and stretches upstream from Manningtree to within one mile of Bures. Supporters of the Dedham Vale AONB have held an ambition to extend it westwards for many years in order to protect the area from development and to gain recognition for its natural beauty and cultural importance.

This aim is backed by the Stour Valley Partnership. The information has now been sent to Natural England.

Chairman of the partnership, Robert Erith, said: “Extending the AONB has been a longstanding goal of the Partnership as well as many other bodies and individuals ever since the original designation of the Dedham Vale AONB in 1970.”

“Constable and Gainsborough both painted here and their landscapes are recognisable today. It is encouraging that this application has the support of all the local authorities.”

The area is within the constituency of Braintree MP Brooks Newmark, who also supports the submission.

He said: “We have so few areas of green space like this left in Essex that we must protect it and extend the envelope. Much of the area is unchanged since Medieval times, the villages are beautiful and many of houses up to 500 years old.

“It would also protect the countryside there from development like solar farms, which are being proposed in rurals areas nearby that have no protection.”

According to David Holland, a member of The Hennys, Middleton and Twinstead Parish Council, should the bid be successful, it could boost tourism.

He said: “This place is a hidden gem – it’s under-protected and under-exploited – and AONB status could have important socio-economic implications for the area.

“Its accessible and criss-crossed by footpaths and attracts people interested in nature and cultural history.”

According to Natural England, an AONB is “an area of high scenic quality which has statutory protection in order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of its landscape”.

The submission by the Dedham Vale AONB is what is known as a Stage 1 assessment. Should the case be looked on favourably, a more formal process will take place where the exact boundaries would be decided and local landowners and the public consulted.

A spokesman for Natural England said: “Natural England needs to decide if they would be in the national interest, because these are national designations. The whole process can take about three years.”



  • A milestone, great news but there are no guarantees on keeping the countryside beautiful unless you do a better job in Essex to protect it. The Orwell estuary ANOB deteriorates year on year, as do other ANOB's

    Report this comment

    Michael Wright

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • with all the new houses which we will need natural england will have to go.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Broomhill Swimming Pool in Ipswich has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. L-R: Robyn Llewellyn (head of Heritage Lottery Fund - East of England), Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Tim Mills, Garath Jones and Mark Ling.

Broomhill pool in Ipswich could reopen to the public at Easter 2018 – its 80th anniversary – after its re-opening proposals got the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Georgia and Jodie Mutch have lost 8.5 stone between them after joining Slimming World. The sisters are pictured in Ipswich. Georgis is on left on the latest photo

Jodie Mutch and sister Georgia are celebrating new slim-line figures after losing five stone and three stone respectively.

The Robin Hood Country Show will feature a jousting display.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are our top ideas.

One of the CCTV images police have issued in their search for a teenager who stole a bicycle from Grimwade Street, Ipswich

Police have issued CCTV images of a teenager they are keen to trace after a bicycle was stolen from Grimwade Street in Ipswich.

Average speed camera.

Average speed cameras on the A12 on the Essex and Suffolk border have not yet been switched on – three months after they were installed.

Thomas Harvey's winning entry in the Landguard Photography Competition 2015.

Stunning photographs of Suffolk’s most southerly point attracted big interest on-line with around 800 people voting for their favourite.

Police attended to the incident

A car has crashed into a house in Bury St Edmunds and destroyed a fish tank.

Could Broomhill Pool be on the brink of restoration?

Hopes of restoring Ipswich’s Broomhill Pool have today received a huge boost with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has made an interim award to the project.

All of the alleged sexual assaults happened on buses in Suffolk.

More needs to be done to empower women in Suffolk to come forward about sexual assaults, a campaigner has said.

Police are investigating the incident

Police have issued CCTV images of three people they are keen to identify following a theft from a Co-op supermarket in Felixstowe

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages