Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (UK)
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, AONB, are a type of national park in the UK. Work has begun on getting these into OpenStreetMap (see also United Kingdom national parks). The first AONB, the Gower, was created in 1956.
Sources for Boundary Routes
|Natural England OGL data release
On 1st April 2012 Natural England started to release data, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, under the OGL licence. Although it is always best to use ground-thruthed data (i.e. by survey) this is difficult for AONB. It is therefore proposed that we use the Natural England data - please discuss.
AONBs are created by a document known as Designation Order, which includes an OS map with the boundary marked on it. The boundaries may be amended by subsequent orders. We presumably can't use these maps where they are still in copyright, but the Crown Copyright only lasts for 50 years, so the designation orders for any AONBs that were created more than 50 years ago, and haven't been modified since are fine to use. Natural England probably holds copies of all the orders, so we should be able to request them using the Freedom of Information Act.
user:rjw62 has successfully made a request for a copy of the Malvern Hills Designation Order . It would appear that, at least in this case, the boundary tends to run along the side of roads, rather than down their centrelines.
List of AONBs
How to tag AONBs has been a source of some dispute. The Cotswold AONB was initially tagged as follows.
However this has been considered by some to be inappropriate as it fails to differentiate national parks from AONBs.
Rather than having a separate boundary=* tag for each type of protected area, we could make use of the designation=* tag record the precise legal status. So designation=national_park for National Parks and designation=area_of_outstanding_natural_beauty for AONBs. (In the tag, the full name is preferable to the abbreviation to aid interpretation by both mappers and data users.)