Explore Devon’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Devon has an outstanding environment with fantastic landscapes, stunning wildlife and amazing heritage.
In Devon there are five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), two National Parks Dartmoor and Exmoor, parts of two World Heritage Sites, a UNESCO Biosphere and some incredible sections of the South West Coast Path. All of these offer some wonderful places to visit, explore and be Naturally Healthy. Whether that’s going for a short or long walk, cycle ride, trail running, wild swimming, nature or bird watching or simply admiring the beautiful views, there is something for everyone, of all ages.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
AONBs are some of our finest landscapes, with iconic archaeological, geological and historical sites and valuable wildlife habitats. They are a treasured natural resource and are internationally recognised for their special qualities. Managed by AONB Partnerships they support sustainable development for local communities and the rural economy, whilst conserving wildlife, landscape and heritage.
The Blackdown Hills AONB is on the border of Devon and Somerset. It is a tranquil rural landscape with hedgerows and copses, small farms with intricate field patterns, deep valleys and narrow, winding lanes. The area is rich in wildlife and heritage.
The East Devon AONB is an outstanding landscape, diverse and rich in wildlife. It incorporates the Devon section of England’s only natural World Heritage Site, the Dorset and East Devon Coast (Jurassic Coast) WHS.
North Devon Coast
The North Devon Coast AONB covers 171 square kilometres (66 square miles). It includes wild coastal cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and rocky coves, sand dunes and beaches, wooded combes and valleys with sheltering villages. It also incorporates part of the UNESCO Biosphere.
The special qualities of South Devon AONB include its wild, rugged and undeveloped coastline, sandy beaches, rolling farmland, patchwork countryside and historic villages. Its network of streams, rivers and secretive estuaries means it is an area rich in water-based as well as land-based wildlife.
The Tamar Valley is a special landscape that is defined and shaped by the rivers Tamar, Tavy and Lynher, and by the human activity focused around them. The area is famous for its mining heritage landscape and market gardening history, and is a haven for wildlife.
All of Devon’s AONBs offer some amazing places to explore during Naturally Healthy May and all year round. Find out more on their websites:
For more information on Devon’s natural environment visit the Natural Devon, (Devon Local Nature Partnership) website.
Follow the Countryside Code
Help to keep Devon’s amazing environment special by taking care when you visit and following the countryside code:
- Respect everyone – be considerate to those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside; leave gates and property as you find them
- Protect the environment – take your litter home; keep dogs under control and in sight; do not cause damage or disturbance
- Enjoy the outdoors – plan your adventure – know what to expect and what you can do
Accessing Open Spaces Safely
We passionately believe that being active is important as ever. However, safety is paramount and it is crucial that everyone follows current government guidance when leaving the home to exercise and accessing open spaces. #StayActiveStaySafe.