Blackpool Sands

Slapton Ley

Sequers Bridge

The River Erme

Boats on the Yealm estuary

East Portlemouth

All about AONBs

In 1949 the government decided to protect Britain's best-loved landscapes for future generations as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONBs. AONBs exist to conserve and enhance the beauty of the landscape. Read our summary of the purposes of AONB designation.

A legal designation

AONBs are statutory designations. The legal framework for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is provided by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

The designation of South Devon AONB

From the 1930s onwards, a programme of National Park and AONB designations was developed to give protection to the country’s finest landscapes. Read a brief account of how the South Devon AONB came to be designated in 1960.

AONBs nationally

South Devon is one of the national "family" of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which together cover 20,000 square kilometres (15.6% of the land area) of England and Wales.

Map of South Devon AONB

Covering 337 square kilometres (130 square miles) of coastline, estuaries and countryside, South Devon AONB stretches from Berry Head in Brixham to Jennycliff in Plymouth. As well as being a place of fabulous views and fantastic countryside it is home to 34,000 people.  The shaded area on the map below shows the South Devon AONB designated area.



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South Devon AONB - in a nutshell!