Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (UK)
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is land protected by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act). It protects the land to conserve and enhance its natural beauty.
An AONB is an area of countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland which has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. Areas are designated in recognition of their national importance, by the relevant public body: Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. In place of AONB, Scotland uses the similar national scenic area (NSA) designation. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty enjoy levels of protection from development similar to those of UK National Parks, but unlike with national parks the responsible bodies do not have their own planning powers. They also differ from National Parks in their more limited opportunities for extensive outdoor recreation.
Sources for Boundary Routes
Natural England: locked up in ArgGIS Online? http://naturalengland-defra.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/areas-of-outstanding-natural-beauty-england
Natural Resources Wales: geojson and shpfile, copyright Natural Resources Wales and OS http://lle.gov.wales/catalogue/item/ProtectedSitesAreasOfOutstandingNaturalBeauty/?lang=en
Northern Ireland Environment Agency geojson and shpfile, OGL https://data.gov.uk/dataset/f803cb72-e3d2-44df-8a0c-19a496bd7a5d/areas-of-outstanding-natural-beauty
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-truthed 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 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
AONBs in bold are not yet mapped (or parts are not yet mapped)
|Arnside and Silverdale||England||1972|
|Cornwall||England||1959||Bodmin Moor, Camel Estuary, Godrevy to Portreath, Hartland, Pentire Point to Widemouth, South Coast - Western, Trevose Head to Stepper Point, and West Penwith areas.
missing St Agnes, South Coast - Central, South Coast - Eastern, and Rame Head areas.
|Cotswolds||England||1966||100%||Some sections guesswork|
|Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs||England||1983|
|East Devon AONB||England||1963|
|Forest of Bowland||England||1964|
|Isle of Wight||England||1963|
|Isles of Scilly||England||1976|
|Malvern Hills||England||1959||100%||Designation order used to determine route|
|North Wessex Downs||England||1972|
|Quantock Hills||England||1956||100%||Designation Order used to determine route|
|Suffolk Coast and Heaths||England||1970||Expansion submitted for approval not yet given.|
|Wye Valley||England and Wales||1971|
|Clwydian Range and Dee Valley||Wales|
|Antrim Coast and Glens||Northern Ireland|
|Causeway Coast||Northern Ireland||100%|
|Lagan Valley||Northern Ireland|
|Mourne and Slieve Croob||Northern Ireland|
|Ring of Gullion||Northern Ireland|
|Strangford & Lecale||Northern Ireland||100%|
National Scenic Areas (NSA) (Scotland only )
|Ben Nevis and Glen Coe|
|Cairngorm Mountains||within Cairngorms National Park|
|Deeside and Lochnagar||within Cairngorms National Park|
|East Stewartry Coast|
|Eildon and Leaderfood|
|Hoy and West Mainland|
|Kyle of Tongue|
|Kyles of Bute|
|Loch Lomond||within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park|
|Loch na Keal, Isle of Mull|
|Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon|
|Lynn of Lorn|
|Morar, Moidart and Ardnamurchan|
|North West Sutherland|
|River Earn (Comrie to St Fillans)|
|River Tay (Dunkeld)|
|Scarba, Lunga and the Garvellachs|
|South Lewis, Harris and North Uist|
|South Uist Machair|
|The Trossachs||within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park|
Wikipedia link: Category:National scenic areas of Scotland
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.
- “Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs): designation and management - GOV.UK”. Retrieved 13 December 2018.