North Wessex Downs AONB, Units 3-4, Denford Manor, Lower Denford, Hungerford, RG17 0UN
01488 685 440

About Us


What is an AONB?

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are some of the most beautiful and cherished landscapes in Britain. They are designated as special landscapes which provide a range of benefits for people and wildlife.

Landscape of the North Wessex Downs AONB
The primary purpose of AONB designation is to conserve and enhance that natural beauty. This is the responsibility of the local authorities covering the AONB.

Each of the 37 AONBs in England is designated for special attention by reason of its high qualities.  Natural beauty includes the flora, fauna, historical and cultural associations as well as geological and physical characteristics of the area and the scenic views.

Landscape encompasses everything – both natural and human - that makes an area special, including the places and people who live and work there.

Council of Partners

In the North Wessex Downs AONB the Council of Partners is responsible for managing the area, and therefore have the task of increasing public understanding and enjoyment of the AONB, and fostering the social and economic well-being of its local communities.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 (the "CRoW" Act) added further regulation and protection, ensuring the future of AONBs as important national resources.

The North Wessex DownsAONB is the largest in south east England and the third largest AONB nationally – out of the 37 AONBs in England. It was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1972.

To find out more about AONBs across England and Wales, please visit the National Association for AONBs website at or the Natural England website at