The River Erme
In 1949 the government decided to protect Britain's best-loved landscapes for future generations as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or AONBs. AONBs exist to conserve and enhance the beauty of the landscape. Read our summary of the purposes of AONB designation.
AONBs are statutory designations. The legal framework for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is provided by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
From the 1930s onwards, a programme of National Park and AONB designations was developed to give protection to the country’s finest landscapes. Read a brief account of how the South Devon AONB came to be designated in 1960.
South Devon is one of the national "family" of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which together cover 20,000 square kilometres (15.6% of the land area) of England and Wales.
Covering 337 square kilometres (130 square miles) of coastline, estuaries and countryside, South Devon AONB stretches from Berry Head in Brixham to Jennycliff in Plymouth. As well as being a place of fabulous views and fantastic countryside it is home to 34,000 people. The shaded area on the map below shows the South Devon AONB designated area.
© Natural England copyright. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.
This boundary data for the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been provided by Natural England and used by the South Devon AONB Unit under the Open Government Licence.