Pyramidal orchid

What is an AONB?

An AONB means an Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB). They are are part of a family of protected areas.

AONBs, National Parks and Heritage Coasts in England and Wales are all Protected Landscapes. These are areas that have been moulded by centuries of human activity, where people, landscapes and nature live within close harmony protecting the AONB for future generations to enjoy. 

  • The Kent Downs is the eighth largest AONB in England and Wales.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • In Kent, the High Weald and Kent Downs AONB cover 33% of the county’s land area. In the southeast England region, the 11 AONBs cover over 30% of the total land area.

Further Information

 National Association of AONBs (NAAONB)

The NAAONB is the voice of the AONB partnerships and conservation boards and represents the AONB Family on national issues including policy and advocacy, communications, training and securing resources. 

Natural England

Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. It provides practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone. 

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Defra has the resources and responsibility for funding and strategic oversight of the AONB Joint Advisory Committees, the two Conservation Boards and the National Association for AONBs.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee

The JNCC is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation.

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