In 1945, in response to growing support for the creation of National Parks, the Dower Report was published.
Together with the 1947 Hobhouse Report, it recommended that a number of the finest landscapes in England and Wales should be given special legal status to ensure their preservation “for the nation’s benefit”.
These landscapes were designated as either AONBs or National Parks as a result of differences in size, scale and aims. Forty six are now “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty” (AONBs) and fifteen have become National Parks (for more information about National Parks, visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk
Because of their fragile natural beauty the primary purpose of AONB designation is
- To conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape
Two secondary aims complement the purpose:
- To meet the need for quiet enjoyment of the countryside
- To have regard for the interests of those who live and work there.