Aylsham were initially part of a pilot scheme with Rural Action East to establish how the Cittaslow goals could be applied in the UK. This confirmed what the town had discovered already: Cittaslow fitted Aylsham like a glove and the town sailed through its accreditation. Since then Aylsham has seen its profile raised locally, nationally and internationally; visitor numbers have increased; the town has won several awards and has developed a lasting programme of community events. On May 3rd 2008 Aylsham also became Norfolk’s first plasticbagfree town, a stunning achievement for the town’s council and 120 traders who all signed up to the Aylsham plasticbagfree campaign.
Aylsham have continued to retain their strong track record with environmental projects such as negotiating with the District and County Councils to use the Stela LED lighting as part of a revamp of Aylsham Market Place and Red Lion Street. Public loos built in 2007 have sedum roofs, sunpipes to minimise use of artificial lighting, energy efficient hand dryers, waterless urinals, controlled hot water at the taps, as well as the usual dual flush cisterns to minimise use of water. The design was revolutionary for its setting within a Conservation Area and CPRE gave the Town Council an award for innovation (or as their Chairman put it at the awards evening – Bravery – for going ahead with something so different!)
The Aylsham show attracts around 16,000 visitors each year and along with the Aylsham food festival that celebrates local food and supports local producers annually, there’s plenty of reasons for this Cittaslow town to be pleased with itself.
Contact: Giles Margarson
Tel: 07786 892047