Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - some of our most stunning
Wales' five Areas of Outstanding Natural
Beauty (AONBs) are as diverse as they are spectacular. The law
ensures they get vital protection.
What are AONBs?
Areas protected by law because of the special qualities of their
landscape. In landscape and planning terms, AONBs are equal
in status to National Parks.
While these areas are treasured for their special qualities,
they aren’t frozen in time. They are dynamic, working
landscapes supporting vibrant communities.
Where are they?
The five AONBs in Wales are spread across the country, including
a range of different landscapes:
- Anglesey, in the north, has a range of landscapes, including
most of the island’s coastline
- The Clwydian Range is a ridge of hills in north-east
- Gower is the peninsula west of Swansea.
- Llŷn is the finger of land reaching out westwards from
- The Wye Valley straddles the border between south-east Wales
How are they protected?
Management – AONBs are managed by Local
Authorities. Most of the areas are in private hands, so
creating successful partnerships to ensure sympathetic land
management is important.
Planning – Developments inside AONBs are more
tightly controlled through the planning process to ensure they do
not adversely affect the landscape. A greater level of advice
is often available to developers too, however.
Partnership – Active and effective partnerships
between organisations, public bodies and individuals are important
for the management of AONBs. Special funding is often
available for projects inside AONBs. There is also more
advice available and a more joined-up approach to the area’s
development. Local communities have a say in how the area is
managed through the AONB Management Plan.