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Amenity and Accessibility Fund Case Studies:

Autism and Nature

A photo of the front cover of the autism visitor guide showing a young boy and a lady

The Amenity and Accessibility Fund (AAF) aims to improve the environment and natural character of the area by conserving habitats and species and improving sustainable access to the area.

The AAF is being managed by EDF, East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council in consultation with Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape who administers the fund.

It was developed because the Dry Fuel Store may delay the return of part of the Sizewell B site to other uses. The site would otherwise have been expected to be restored in keeping with the surrounding Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape designated landscape.

Any individuals, organisations or community groups can apply for funding

from the AAF if they can demonstrate their project meets the objectives of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape, with additional criteria to improve the accessibility of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape or conserve or enhance the local amenity.

For the 2021-22 funding year, £3,498.30 has been awarded to Autism and Nature, a non-profit organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of people on the autistic spectrum, especially children, by engaging them with the countryside and nature.

The project to be funded by the AAF grant will see the production of an audiovisual social story book with the aim of fostering a deeper level of engagement with the landscape of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape for children with autism, profound and multiple learning disabilities, and medical needs across Suffolk.

Autism and Nature will work in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape familiar to Benjamin Britten, around The Red House, Snape and Aldeburgh in particular, to produce an audiovisual illustrated social story book, using Widgit symbol-supported text, about visiting these specific places and the range of things that children can expect to see and do.

The characters in the storybook will represent children with a range of disabilities. The storybook will be in video format, featuring the artwork and symbolised text, and voiced by students from the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in Ipswich, which caters for children between the ages of 3-16 years, with physical and /or sensory needs.

Dr David Blakesley from Autism and Nature said: “We are very excited about this project, because it will be Autism and Nature’s first audiovisual story book. We are also pleased that it will be narrated by children from Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy.

We are very grateful to the Amenity and Accessibility Fund for giving us this opportunity and look forward to posting the final video on our YouTube channel for all Suffolk special schools and families to access.

We believe that this will help to engage and introduce new audiences to the landscapes and heritage of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape.”

Autism and Nature logo