Welcome to Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
This nationally designated AONB covers 380 sq miles of countryside overlapping the boundaries of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset.
It 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.
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What is an AONB?
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a landscape which is considered so precious that it is protected for the nation. The criteria for designating an AONB include 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.
The AONB Partnership... Getting Involved
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.
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The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB has over 900 miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways.
We are always looking for new routes to add to our website, so if you have a favourite walk, cycle trail or horse ride, we'd love to hear from you!
The AONB has a wide variety of attractions, places to visit, and things to do. These range from historic places of interest such as Bokerley Dyke and the Fovant Badges to National Nature Reserves such as Martin Down.
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There are 7 museums located within the AONB, including the Breamore Countryside Museum near Fordingbridge, the aviation museum at Compton Abbas, Rockborne Roman Villa and the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford
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Other attractions include the Bush Farm Bison Centre at West Knoyle, and Longleat Safari Park
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Working in partnership with local visitor related businesses across the Nadder Valley area to promote green tourism and benefit the local economy. More Info »
Working closely with farmers to stabilise and increase the numbers of farmland birds and rare arable plants. More Info »
A summary of the key characteristics of the historic environment of the AONB at a landscape scale. More Info »
Cranborne Chase Woodfair - 5 and 6 October 2013
A showcase for contemporary rural life focusing on woodland and associated craft More Info »