Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949), and along with National Parks they represent the finest examples of countryside in England and Wales.

Natural England is responsible for designating AONBs and advising Government and others on how they should be protected and managed. Designation seeks to protect and enhance natural beauty whilst recognising the needs of the local community and economy. This includes the protection of flora, fauna and geological as well as landscape features. The conservation of archaeological, architectural and vernacular features in the landscape is also important. 

National Parks and AONBs were created by the same Act of Parliament and are of equal importance in terms of landscape value. However, there are several differences between AONBs and National Parks including:

- the way the designated area is administered

- the way that the landscape is managed.

Each National Park is administered and managed by its own dedicated National Park Authority, who is responsible for development control and landscape management.

AONBs are administered by their constituent Local Authorities. Each Local Authority controls land use and development within the AONB through development plans. (These are Structure Plans at county level, and Local Plans at district level.)

Landscape management is the duty of the Local Authorities, who must prepare and implement Management Plans for the AONB. However, in most cases this responsibility has been devolved to an AONB Partnership.

For a map of the location of the Tamar Valley and its ANOB click here.