GROUPS are being encouraged to apply for funding from a development group.

The 2013/14 Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Development Fund is now open for applications.

This year’s fund is set at £40,000 and is open to businesses, community groups and individuals, as long as each plan benefits the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area.

The closing date for applications is March 27.

To get an application form, go to