50 years since the Norfolk Coast joined national parks as a treasured place

‘Flying Home’ taken at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Cley. Picture: ANNE COWPER JOHNSON

‘Flying Home’ taken at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Cley. Picture: ANNE COWPER JOHNSON - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk Coast has been a nationally protected area for 50 years, and today sees the launch of a series of exciting events to mark the occasion.

Cromer Pier. Picture: JANET ANGLES

Cromer Pier. Picture: JANET ANGLES - Credit: Archant

Fifty years ago today the coast, from King's Lynn to Winterton, joined national parks such as the Lake and Peak Districts as one of the UK's most treasured places.

Inscribed in law as an area of outstanding natural beauty, it became part of a family of protected areas stretching across Europe and the world.

And today sees the launch of a year of celebrations with the publication of a 66-page full colour book 'Walk with me' and a series of events.

Events will include bussing schoolchildren to the beach to work with artists on a ground-breaking large-scale installation as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Spring Tide at Stiffkey Freshes. Picture: MARY GROOMBRIDGE

Spring Tide at Stiffkey Freshes. Picture: MARY GROOMBRIDGE - Credit: Archant


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Meanwhile, cards and posters of a specially made original lino cut from renowned local artist Robert Gillmor will also go on sale, with all profits going towards coastal projects.

Spanning 90.8km of coastline, the Norfolk Coast's 453 sq km includes a diverse array of landscapes, from sand dune and salt marsh to open chalk downland, river valleys, heath and bog, as well as ports, villages and towns.

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One of 46 areas of outstanding beauty in the UK, it is tasked to conserve and enhance natural beauty, meet the need for quiet enjoyment of the countryside and have regard to the interests of those who live and work in the area.

Brian Long, Norfolk Coast Partnership chairman, said: 'Our beautiful area's designation enables us to take action to look after it. There are challenges inherent in the place, but through a robust plan, a wide range of projects and healthy mutual respect among all our partners we keep it special and will continue to do so for future generations.'

Wisdom Wood by the sand dunes at Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture: MICHAEL L'ANSON

Wisdom Wood by the sand dunes at Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture: MICHAEL L'ANSON - Credit: Archant

Acknowledging that the coast was under threat from global warming and other factors, Estelle Hook, the partnership's manager, added: 'Being an area of outstanding natural beauty is helping us build resilience, understanding and important links with other places so that we can look to a healthy future.'

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