Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are areas of precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nationals interest to safeguard them. Their care has been entrusted to the local authorities, organisations, community groups and the individuals who live and work within them or who value them. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 added further regulation and protection, ensuring the future of AONBs as important national resources. National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Area designated by the Countryside Commission and confirmed by the Secretary of State for the Environment to conserve the natural beauty of the area.
nationally important areas of great landscape, nature conservation and recreational value, designated on the advice of the Countryside Commission by the Secretary of State for the Environment. The Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was formally designated in 1968.