£59,000 of grant support awarded for community projects in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and more grants are now open for applications in Essex and Suffolk!

Posted on: August 16, 2021

Communities in two of the country’s most significant and cherished designated landscapes are set to benefit thanks to funding provided by DEFRA to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

£59,000 of grant support has been awarded through the Sustainable Development Funds, which aim to support projects that will lead to the further conservation and enhancement of the areas.

Successful projects in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, which stretches from Kessingland in the North to the southern shore of the Stour Estuary in North Essex, include RSPB Havergate Island for a Spoonbill deep water feeding creation project, and historic Dunwich Greyfriars Trust for ‘Chronicles of Greyfriars’ – a programme of summer activities for children and adults.

Meanwhile in the Dedham Vale AONB, an area covering much of world renowned Constable Country, projects to be awarded funds include National Trust Flatford’s creation of a Valley Farm Kitchen Garden Children’s Project – Grow It Wild, forming a hub for local school children and community workshops, in addition to St Mary’s Church, East Bergholt for a Bell Cage and Church History Education project at the famous location.


“Over the past 18 months, millions of people have discovered the benefits of nature and how important our surroundings are for our physical and mental health – highlighting the need to protect them for future generations.

The Sustainable Development Fund is one of several easily accessible grants for a variety of projects to make a real difference in local communities across Suffolk and Essex.

This year we received a wide range of applications and consider the projects selected to most strongly meet the sustainable environmental, social and economic goals of the Fund, so that the unique landscape of the AONB is conserved, making it more enjoyable for all. “

AONB Grants are available to a variety of community and conservation organisations (or individuals) to support projects for the benefit of the Coast & Heaths AONB and the Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley.

A further £16,000 is now open for applications across two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).   

The AONB is seeking applications from local community projects that are innovative, socially inclusive, sustainable, that benefit the public and involve partnership working.

Whether you have a project that works in heritage, media, conservation, learning, health, accessibility, and diversity, to give but a few examples, we welcome your applications. Find out more about the Sustainable Development Fund and Stour Valley Environment Fund atdedhamvalestourvalley.org or the Community and Conservation Fund at suffolkcoastandheaths.org.

For more information, contact Oka Last, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Grants Officer, on 01394 445225 or[email protected].



  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes.  There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland.
  • The Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale AONBs are two protected landscapes and make up part of the 46 strong family of AONBs nationwide
  • Both AONBs celebrated their 50th anniversary last year
  • The Sustainable Development Fund is a fund provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to enable local communities and other organisations to make a difference in AONBs by promoting and achieving sustainable development, partnership, and social inclusion.



Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

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