The Landscape of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and outstanding places to explore and discover.
The AONB extends from the Stour estuary in the south to Kessingland in the north and is a low-lying coastal area of astonishing variety, with subtle but fascinating contrasts – the mix of shingle beaches, crumbling cliffs, wildlife-rich marshes and estuaries, ancient heathland, forests, farmland and historic towns and villages are what makes the AONB so special. This was recognised in 1970 when the area was given a national designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – a landscape status equal to a National Park. It is now one of 46 AONBs within England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A source of inspiration to countless artists, writers and musicians, the AONB is a landscape rich in history but largely spared from modern development (around Sizewell being a notable exception). The attractive countryside, quiet towns and villages, and unspoilt coast of the AONB make it a popular holiday destination as well as a great place to live and work. There are many recreational opportunities and the area boasts a thriving economy.
Landscapes of scenic beauty that are relatively undeveloped are often good for wildlife due to their richness of its wildlife habitats. Few places can match the sheer variety and connectivity of habitats to be found here, making a home for many species of wildlife that are scarce or absent elsewhere, but thriving within the AONB. As we enjoy the area we ask that you tread lightly, as the AONB is a landscape to cherish and we can all play a part in helping to conserve this special place.