Surrey Hills AONB Extension Proposed

28 June 2021

Natural England Proposals

Natural England has announced proposals for new protected areas across England.  The designation process is likely to take several years and will include local stakeholders at every step. In addition, Natural England will examine if more areas could benefit from landscape improvements.

Impact on Surrey

Four areas are being considered for designation:

  • Extending the Surrey Hills AONB
    • To consider including areas of high scenic quality including chalk grassland, parkland, and historic features adjacent to the existing AONB.  An extension to the AONB would help preserve its rural heritage, promote tranquillity and give more access to nature for the benefit of people’s health and well-being. 
  • The other areas being considered are 
    • Yorkshire Wolds AONB
    • Cheshire Sandstone Ridge AONB
    • Extending the Chilterns AONB

The four areas with greater protections, have the potential to deliver over 40% of the additional 4,000km2 required to meet the Prime Minister’s commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030 for nature.

The areas will also help deliver on the Government’s commitment to safeguard more of England’s beautiful and iconic landscapes for future generations as outlined in its 10 Point Plan for a Green Revolution.

Report Recomendations

The announcement also takes forward the recommendations of the major independent review – led by writer Julian Glover – into our protected landscapes.

The Review set out proposals for more beautiful, biodiverse and accessible National Parks and AONBs. The report highlighted that pressures such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and a changing, urban society require new approaches to ensure that we get the most out of England’s most-loved landscapes.

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