AONBs and National Parks were brought into being by the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act to secure their permanent protection against development that would damage their special qualities, thus conserving a number of the finest landscapes in England for the nation’s benefit.
The primary purpose of AONB designation is to conserve and enhance natural beauty.
In pursuing the primary purpose, account should be taken of the needs of agriculture, forestry other rural industries and of the economic and social needs of local communities. Particular regard should be paid to promoting sustainable forms of social and economic development that in themselves conserve and enhance the environment.
Recreation is not an objective of designation, but the demand for recreation should be met so far as this is consistent with the conservation of natural beauty and the needs of agriculture, forestry, and other uses.
- Designation History Pages 1-84 (PDF Download 7.5MB)
- Designation History Pages 85-134 (PDF Download 3MB)
- Designation History Appendix 5 (PDF Download 1MB)