North Devon's Natural Landscape (AONB)
The North Devon Natural Landscapes (formerly known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONB) represents a stunning section of the coast which is nationally protected to preserve the beauty of its landscape. Situated in the heart of North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Natural Landscape (AONB) covers 171 km2 of coastal landscape. The lowest point can be found at Northam Burrows, with the highest point at Berry Down near Combe Martin across from the Hangman Cliffs on Exmoor.
The Natural Landscape’s (AONB) coastal boundary varies from low to high water marks across the site and extends out to the South Tail sandbank on the mouth of the Taw Torridge estuary. The Hartland Heritage Coast, North Devon Heritage Coast and Braunton Burrows, where the Biosphere is located, are also covered by the Natural Landscape (AONB), so you are never too far from the site when visiting North Devon.
The coastal setting of the North Devon Natural Landscape (AONB) and the features of its landscape make it an attractive place to visit and there are gorgeous panoramic views across both land and sea at various points across the site. The site provides a wonderful backdrop to the many businesses and accommodation options in North Devon, allowing for a closeness to nature alongside beautiful sand beaches, calming woodland and heritage areas.
The areas that cover the Heritage Coast remain largely undeveloped so that the region retains its historic legacy and gives visitors the chance to learn more about the region’s heritage. Despite being designated as an area of importance, there remains a high level of public access throughout the North Devon Natural Landscape (AONB), with the South West Coast Path running along its entire length, the National Trust managing large sections of the land and there being public beaches and sand dunes which are open all year around.
The North Devon Natural Landscape (AONB) contains a diversity of scenery, landscapes and habitats, enhanced by its rich and varied wildlife. In spring, woods full of bluebells and displays of hedgerow primroses are spectacular, but for those who wish to explore further, there are numerous rare and protected species and sites to discover. The North Devon AONB works to promote and protect the area’s biodiversity and geodiversity, environmental quality and climate, historic environment and natural landscape character.
The landscape around the Natural Landscape (AONB) varies from wild coastal cliffs, waterfalls, rocky coves, sand dunes, beaches, valleys, villages and just about everything in between. As an official Natural Landscape (AONB), the area is committed to conserving the outstanding wildlife, landscape and heritage of the region, while also supporting sustainable development for the communities that fall within the Natural Landscape (AONB).
Find out more about the North Devon Natural Landscape (AONB) and the work that they do to conserve and enhance this beautiful section of coast on their website, here: www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk