Arnside and Silverdale
of Outstanding Natural
Beauty lies on the shores of
Morecambe Bay, with wide views over the Kent Estuary to the Lake District. The area is characterised by small scale limestone hills rising
to less than 100m in height, fine deciduous woodlands and valleys which form
sheltered agricultural land. The inter-relationship of salt-marsh, limestone
cliffs and reclaimed mosses, at or about sea level, contrast markedly with
limestone pasture, rock outcrops and limestone pavements at a higher level.
The distribution of copses and hedgerows and the pattern of limestone walls
create a strong feeling of enclosure, and are important elements in the
Varied geology and vegetation added to a notably mild climate at this
northerly latitude, makes this AONB extremely important as a diverse natural
habitat. Unimproved pasture and the exposed limestone outcrops are rich in
rare butterflies and flowers. Between the limestone hills there are drift
deposits and estuarine silts and clays which, close to the estuaries, support
nationally important lowland raised mires. Woodlands are a distinctive
element in the landscape with significant areas of ancient semi-natural
woodland. Large areas are owned by the National Trust, English Nature and the
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as well as local wildlife trusts
and conservation organisations. The reed and willow swamps of RSPB Leighton
Moss are a major breeding site for marshland birds which include bearded
tits, marsh harrier and the rare bittern. The sands and salt-marshes of
Morecambe Bay are internationally important for wading birds and wildfowl.
Parts of the AONB are of recognised national and international importance for
The AONB is a popular destination for quiet outdoor recreation, caravanning
and day visitors.
The Clwydian Range is a 35 km long chain of undulating hills, rising between
the Vale of Clwyd to the west and the Dee Estuary to the east. Often known as
the northeastern rampart of Wales, the steep western escarpment and
switchback skyline of the range contrast with the lush green vales at its
Varied geology, from the Silurian rocks of the ridge to the carboniferous
limestone of the Alun Valley, gives the AONB several distinct landscapes
within its compact area. The open heather moorland of the high ridge
dominates the small, hedged fields and coppice woodland of the lower slopes.
In places, the limestone rocks are exposed in attractive wooded escarpments
and on the AONB fringes highly fertile farmland gives soft pastoral
foreground to the hills.
The Clwydian Range is of high archaeological interest and a fine series of
Iron Age hill-forts crown its summits. Part of the Range is listed in the
Register of Landscapes of Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales. In terms of
natural habitat, the AONB's heather moorland and 'ffrith' are protected as a
diminishing habitat resource.
The AONB receives large numbers of visitors,
particularly at its two country parks.
Dyke National Trail follows almost the entire length of the ridge crest.
Forest Of Bowland
The Forest of Bowland and Pendle
Hill were designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in February 1964.
Visitors will discover this little known jewel in
Lancashire's crown is ideal for a break. Situated
to the East of the M6 Motorway between Preston and Lancaster
It is a spectacular area for sporting activities, wildlife, walking
The Pendle Hill section is geographically detached from the Forest of Bowland
section but the two together share the title Forest of Bowland Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The essential landscape character of the Forest of Bowland is one of grandeur
and isolation. Steep sided wooded river valleys such as the Calder, Brock and Wyre
start in these fells, and the surrounding heather coated hills which provide
a habitat for moorland birds are of national importance the major part of
which is designated as a Special Protection Area
under the European Birds Directive. The hills rise extremely steeply out of
the surrounding low-lying land giving them a character similar to the
The enclosed valleys in Bowland are intensively farmed and there are many picturesque and historic
villages with several interesting features. Examples of these villages include Chipping, which probably dates from
Anglo Saxon times and has a flourishing furniture industry, Slaidburn, the former administrative capital of the
Forest of Bowland and Wray which is a delightful village of old cottages.
Special care should be taken when walking in these areas and it is advisable to wear strong boots and waterproof
You should check with the Rangers office situated in Garstang Tel No. 01995 606654 for further details.
Bowland Visitor Centre
Tel: 01995 640557
Nidderdale is located on the eastern flanks of the Yorkshire Pennines
stretching from the high moorland of Great Whernside south and east towards
the edge of the Vale of York. The area is crossed by deep pastoral, often
wooded dales of the Washburn, Laver, Burn and the long majestic dale of the
Nidd itself. Reservoirs and dams such as Scar House Dam
add a further dimension to the beauty of the dale.
Rich, rolling and wooded pastoral scenery, with stone settlements like Lofthouse and Kirkby Malzeard, contrast with bleak heather moorland.
The landscape is dominated by its
millstone grit geology which gives rise to craggy gritstone
'torrs' and outcrops many
of which form characteristic shapes
like the ones at Brimham
Rocks. To the east, in the wooded pasture lands of the Skell Valley, stands
the internationally renowned and much visited Studley Royal, with the
picturesque ruins of the
Cistercian Abbey at Fountains.
of the buildings and walls
contribute greatly to the character of the area.
several nationally-important woodlands in the AONB, including Hackfall (owned
by the Woodland Trust), which is a
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Conservation Area and a listed
Historic Park and Garden! There are also large areas of wetland habitat.
An Area of
Beauty protecting one of the country's last expanses of wilderness
which spans three counties - Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria.
These magnificent moorlands and
uplands give source to some of England's best known rivers, the Allen,
Derwent, Tees, Tyne and Wear,
all forming valleys of which the
ones are Allendale with its centre at Allendale Town,
the Derwent Valley which forms part of the border with County Durham
and South Tynedale which reaches from the market town of
Haltwhistle to the Cumbrian town of Alston, the highest market town in
its western edge, these uplands end sharply in a
steep escarpment looking down on the green and gold patchwork of the Eden
Valley. The table-top summit of Cross Fell is the highest point
The North Pennines are of
outstanding value and
rich in wildlife with important habitats for Nature Conservation
and includes herb-rich hay meadows, juniper, alpine
limestone flora and a diversity of moorland and wading birds. Parts are
protected as a National Nature Reserve and
Sites of Special
(SSSI). There are also areas of international
importance, the North Pennine Moors Special Protection Area (SPA), the Pennine
Dales Environmentally Sensitive Area and The Upper Teesdale and Moorhouse
National Nature Reserves.
From the mid 18th century
to the third quarter of the nineteenth, The North Pennines was the lead mining centre of the
world and the ruined traces of abandoned lead mines are now acknowledged
as an integral part of the landscape and its heritage.
The scattered stone villages throughout the
area have experienced a significant reduction in population following the
decline in the traditional lead mining industry when
the price of lead collapsed in the late 19th
The National Trails of the Pennine Way and the developing
Pennine Bridleway pass through the area, as does the Teesdale Way, a
recreational route. Other initiatives to create recreational routes in
the area are underway.
Stretching along the Cumbrian shore of the Solway Firth, this is a low, open
and windswept Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty with wide views across to the hills of Galloway.
Physically part of the Solway Plain, the coast's characteristic feature is
its continuous 7.6m raised beach. The sand dunes, known
collectively as the South Solway Dunes are popular for their air of seclusion
and superb views, both of Scotland and the distant Lakeland hills. Mawbray
and Wolsty Banks offer the largest expanse of dunes on this coast and as such
are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) due to their
international importance and fragility.
With varied habitats and rich feeding grounds, the estuary is of outstanding
The Inner Solway
mud flats and marshes are
teeming with life, particularly the vast flocks of ducks and geese which
feed, breed and use the area as an over wintering ground.
These flats and salt marshes have been given
international protection for their wildlife importance through their
designation as a Ramsar site and seals, dolphins
and porpoises have been sighted offshore.
Glasson Moss National Nature
Reserve is part of the largest undamaged area of lowland raised mire in
Britain. This and Bowness Common are extremely
Such is their scarcity
that collectively the Solway Plain contains the most extensive areas of
lowland raised mire in Britain
Much of the foreshore has been bought, for its protection, by
Cumbria County Council and conservation bodies.
This is a traditional agricultural area
with charming villages
scattered among small fields and rolling pastures.
Small, hedged fields are still a dominant feature
which give homes
to badgers, foxes, voles, hedgehogs and all the familiar characters of
A number of archaeological sites
include defences built by the
The Cumbria Cycle Way passes through the AONB and the proposed regional footpath, the Cumbria Coastal Way follows the
foreshore and continues to Port Carlisle. A proposed National Trail will
follow the line of Hadrian's Wall through the north of the