Natural beauty does not stop at Amble

AMBLE is campaigning to end its status as a "no man's land" caught between designated areas of beauty.

The Northumberland coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ends at the town's north pier, while Northumberland Wildlife Trust nature reserves lie to the south at Hauxley, Druridge and Cresswell.

Mayor Coun Audrey Jones said: "We at Amble are so unfortunate. We are in the middle, in no man's land. We have got a lovely island out there, we have got some lovely scenery here. We are trying to get people in here. We are missing out on everything."

The town council wants the AONB boundary extended to cover Amble.

It believes that to do so, it must ask Warkworth Parish Council, within whose patch the current north pier boundary lies, to table the suggestion.

Members are to ask Warkworth to do this and are also to make the case by letter for Amble's inclusion.

Chairman of the Warkworth council Stuart Elliott told the Gazette: "We have a close working relationship with Amble Town Council... I think in principle I can not see a reason why we would not support Amble in their application."

Helen Lewis, Northumberland Coast AONB officer, told us that the inclusion of Amble had actually been proposed by the partnership, in an extension to Cresswell and Druridge Bay.

The case has been made to the Countryside Agency, but it is not in a position to determine a boundary extension proposal at present.

This is because the definition of the term natural beauty is being revisited following a challenge during an inquiry.

"We are suffering. We still very much would like to see that happen. The more support we can have the stronger the case it gives us."

The partnership is hoping to carry out a character assessment in support of its extension bid.

When the AONB was designated in 1958, bigger towns were omitted, which is why Amble is excluded.

The officer said: "If it is in keeping with the rest of AONB, there is no sense in keeping that out."

AONB projects are extended into Amble, she stated.