Oast houses
Pyramidal orchid

A Special Landscape

A naturally beautiful place

The Kent Downs AONB is a special and enchanting place; it is a landscape of drama and intimacy. The Landscapes of the Kent Downs include special and distinctive features including a dramatic south- facing scarp, secluded dry chalk valleys a network of tiny lanes, isolated farmsteads, churches castles and oasts, orchards, the dramatic white cliffs, the ancient woodlands and delicate chalk grassland. The Downs are particularly rich in wildlife and there are several species which are largely or wholly confined to the AONB in Britain.

A working landscape

The Kent Downs is a primarily farmed landscape whose character has evolved from centuries of human activity working within the natural and physical characteristics of the land. Particularly assocated with Kent are the Orchards, hop gardens, and cobnut platts although limited in extent they are much valued features of the Downs. New crops are beginning to take hold here and you are almost as likely to see a vineyard and lavender field as a hop garden and apricot trees have joined the typical Kentish cherries, apples and pears. The complex landform and difficult soils means that while farming dominates the Kent Downs it is a much wooded place, in fact the Kent Downs is one of Britain’s most wooded landscapes.

Close to many people

This wonderful, ancient and remote countryside lies close to London and is nearby several large centres of population, making the Kent Downs a much valued and much needed place. While only 66,000 people live in the AONB over a million live within a kilometre of the boundary.