Devon has an outstanding natural environment with a range of international and national protected landscapes.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along with National Parks, are the nation’s finest landscapes, given statutory protection by Government. There are five AONBs in Devon, three wholly within the County ie North Devon Coasts, East Devon and South Devon and two are cross-boundary with neighbouring authorities, Tamar Valley and Blackdown Hills. Taken with Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, these “protected landscapes” cover 35% of Devon.
The statutory purpose of AONBs is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape. They have the same landscape value as National Parks. Each of the 5 AONBs is managed by a local partnership. They bring together rural and landscape management initiatives that assist the delivery of the sustainable development agenda for the County. The distinct and unique qualities of each AONB need care and attention. Action is co-ordinated in each AONB by a small local team guided by a wider community partnership.
All the AONBs receive core funding support from the County Council and it also hosts two of the AONB teams, Blackdown Hills and North Devon Coasts.
Additionally, Devon has parts of two World Heritage Sites, the Dorset and East Devon Coast natural site, popularly known as the Jurassic Coast and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape cultural site, known as Cornish Mining and also the UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve in northern Devon. These sites are also supported by the County Council through funding towards their core and project costs and through active involvement in the Partnerships and working groups.
- Blackdown Hills AONB
- East Devon AONB
- North Devon AONB
- South Devon AONB
- Tamar Valley AONB
- Jurassic Coast WHS
- Cornish Mining WHS
- North Devon Biosphere
Also on devon.gov.uk
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