The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a unique landscape, full of contrast and colour, diverse and rich in wildlife – a landscape, shaped by centuries of farming, with a natural beauty that’s so precious it’s protected in the nation’s interest.

Designated in 1963, the East Devon AONB boundary protects 103 square miles (268 sq kms – approximately 32%) of East Devon District, including all or part of 30 parishes and the East Devon section of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ World Heritage Site. 


The primary purpose of designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of our landscape – its landforms and geology, biodiversity, communities and rich cultural heritage.

The East Devon AONB Partnership, guided and coordinated by the AONB team, works together to achieve this.

Find out more

East Devon AONB Partnership

The agencies, organisations, businesses and volunteers working together to manage and protect the natural beauty of our East Devon AONB.


View the East Devon AONB boundary on the map – 103 sq miles of protected landscape between Exmouth and Lyme Regis, reaching inland towards Honiton.

Frequently asked questions

What is an AONB? How does the AONB deal with planning? Find the answers to these and other questions you may have.

Designation - where it all started

Read an historical account of the East Devon AONB boundary designation process. First proposed in 1957 by Brigadier P.B. Acland (1902-93), it was finally designated on 20 September 1963. 

AONB Management Plan

A five-year strategy for the conservation and enhancement of our AONB. A plan for managing change, conservation action and monitoring results.   

Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000)

Understand the roles and responsibilities that Natural England, local authorities and AONB partnerships must follow to manage AONBs.


England, Wales and Northern Ireland has 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, covering 18% of the countryside, over a fifth of the English coast, and including 12,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways.

156m people visit our AONBs annually, spending over £2bn and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses.

The East Devon AONB is one of five AONBs in Devon. The others are the Blackdown Hills, North Devon Coast, South Devon and Tamar Valley.

A National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the national voice for AONBs and coordinates a national plan as well as providing general information about all AONBs.

Collectively, the AONBs have pledged to tackle nature recovery and climate change through the Colchester Declaration.


More to Explore

East Devon AONB Projects

We lead, partner and support projects that focus on a wide range of themes, including landscape and heritage, environmental quality and climate, biodiversity, recreation and tourism.

Outdoors & Active

Whether you prefer walking, cycling, running or playing, everyone feels happier and healthier when they spend time in nature being more active.

East Devon Way

Discover the hidden gems of East Devon and explore this much loved walking route that links 40 miles of public footpaths, trails and bridleways.