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Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) were brought into being by the same legislation as National Parks - the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949. They are fine landscapes, of great variety in character and extent. The primary objective of their designation is the conservation area's natural beauty, although many of them also fulfil a great recreational purpose. The Countryside Agency is responsible for designating AONBs in England and advising Government on policies for their protection. There are 36 in all, covering about 15% of England.