An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a landscape which is considered so precious that it is protected for the nation. AONBs are designated for their valuable wildlife, habitats, geology and heritage, as well as scenic views.
The primary purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, now and for future generations.
This nationally designated AONB covers 380 sq miles (983 sq kilometres) of countryside overlapping the boundaries of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset and is the sixth largest of the 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The AONB is a diverse landscape offering areas of rolling chalk grassland, ancient woodlands, chalk escarpments, downland hillsides and chalk river valleys each with a distinct and recognisable character. The landscapes of the AONB today, as they were in the past, are extraordinarily rich.
View a location map (pdf) of the AONB.
Learn more about the nation's AONBs here.
Remember - when visiting the countryside always follow the Countryside Code.
This plan was prepared by a wide range of individuals and organisations with an interest in conserving and enhancing the AONB and has been formally adopted by the nine Local Authorities who share responsibility for guiding the management of this nationally important area - visit the Management Plan link to download the plan.
The AONB Partnership is open to everyone who lives and works in the area. It also welcomes visitors to the area and other interested parties, be they individuals, government or non-governmental organisations or an interest group. The Cranborne Chase Landscape Trust is represented on the AONB Partnership and works closely with it on many projects. Find out more about the Cranborne Chase AONB Partnership.