What is an AONB?

In 1949 the government decided to protect identified areas of natural beauty for future generations as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONBs. For further details on AONBs visit the Defra website or our National Association webpages.

How many AONBs are there within East Devon?

There are two AONBs within East Devon : Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon AONB which together occupy some 66% of the district.

When were the AONB designations made in East Devon?

The East Devon AONB was designated in 1963. The Blackdown Hills AONB was designated much more recently, in 1991.

Read a fascinating historical account of the designation process and evolution of the East Devon AONB boundary, first proposed in 1957 by Brigadier P.B. Acland (1902-93)  click here (pdf 4mb).

Where is the East Devon AONB Boundary?

The East Devon AONB covers 103 square miles (268 sqkm) including 18 miles of Heritage Coast and the East Devon section of the World Heritage Site ‘ Jurassic Coast ‘.
The designation covers, or part covers 30 parishes and the boundary extends into and/or skirts the resorts of Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth, but includes Budleigh Salterton.

Click here to view the AONB area. Another way to check whether your property is in the AONB is by entering your postcode into the ‘My Neighbourhood’ search on the District Council website. The definitive boundary can only be viewed using Natural England’s data, as shown in the Magic Map Application – select Designations / Land-based designations / Statutory / AONB.

What is the East Devon AONB Partnership?

The East Devon AONB Partnership is a joint initiative core-funded by East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Defra, working to help conserve and manage the East Devon AONB. The Partnership is responsible for the production and delivery of a five yearly Management Plan, in consultation with communities and agencies active within the AONB.

Where do I go for advice about setting up environmental projects within the East Devon AONB?

The East Devon AONB Communities Project Fund encourages local people to carry out positive improvements to the local environment. The grant scheme supports projects that conserve, enhance and celebrate the diversity and character of the East Devon AONB area.

There are a number of other funding sources available too, contact us for more information.

How does the AONB deal with planning?

The East Devon AONB Partnership is consulted by the Planning Authorities (East Devon District and Devon County Council) on developments within the AONB in accordance with an agreed protocol.

Any comments in relation to landscape-impacts will be considered by the Planning Authority in the same way as other consultations. It is important to stress that the AONB Partnership is not a statutory consultee and has no statutory planning function, unlike National Parks. The AONB Manager responds on behalf of the Partnership, where appropriate and as resource allows.

Consultation responses are made within the context of the Landscape Character Assessment for East Devon; identifying the landscape type the proposal is set within, its key features, and the recommended management guidelines for the maintenance of the landscape character.  For further details please see the AONB Planning Protocol .

For further details on planning policies see EDDC Planning pages.

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.