An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them.
There are 46 AONBs in Britain (33 wholly in England, four wholly in Wales, one which straddles the English/Welsh border and eight in Northern Ireland) and they cover 18% of our countryside.
AONBs are designated in recognition of their national importance and to ensure that their character and qualities are protected for all to enjoy.
They are living, working landscapes, much loved and valued by all who enjoy them. They are powerful symbols of our national pride: places of motivation, inheritance, excitement, pleasure and profit. The flora, fauna, history and culture of our AONBs’ lowland heath, wild moor, towering peaks, dramatic gorges, sheer cliffs, gently rolling hills, sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, quiet coves, rocky shores, sand dunes, saltmarsh and shimmering estuaries ensure they remain Landscapes for Life.