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What is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a designated exceptional landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are precious enough to be safeguarded in the national interest. On par with National Parks, AONBs are protected and enhanced for nature, people, business and culture. No other country in the world has Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – it is a uniquely British designation that belongs to a worldwide Protected Landscape Family.

The Kent Downs AONB offers dramatic views, vibrant communities, a rich historic and cultural heritage and diverse wildlife and habitats making it a worthy landscape for national protection. It is the eighth largest AONB and, along with the High Weald AONB, covers 33% of Kent’s land area providing a wealth of opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and benefit from this outstanding landscape.

The Kent Downs AONB is one of a family of 46 AONBs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland which cover one fifth of the UK. The National Associate of AONBs (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. They provide an opportunity for collaborative working between individual AONBs through sharing best practice, ideas and approaches to issues common across AONBs.