Last edited 30 Oct 2015

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB


[edit] Introduction

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an area of the countryside with high scenic value of national importance that has statutory protection to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of its landscape.

There are currently 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with 33 wholly in England, four in Wales, one which crosses the English/Welsh border and eight in Northern Ireland (ref National Association Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency Northern Ireland are responsible for formally designating AONBs and advising on policy.

[edit] Designation

AONBs are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 with further protection provided by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 also clarifies that local authorities are required to prepare management plans for their AONBs.

The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) states that AONBs and national parks have equal status in relation to planning consents and other sensitive issues.

[edit] Managing AONBs

AONBs are managed by the relevant local authorities, and to assist the local authorities, local advisory committees have been set up which involve all the authorities within the AONB area. Conservation Boards have also been established for the larger Cotswolds AONB and Chilterns AONB.

In September 2015, the National Trust published a report recommending better protection of AONB's. Ref Protecting England's Special Countryside.

[edit] Find out more

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