Welcome to the Cranborne Chase 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.

Find out about:

Trustees needed for an exciting new environmental charity

This is an interesting opportunity to help set up and run a new charity focused on the AONB. The charity will help:

  • Conserve and enhance the landscape of the AONB
  • Ensure that traditional rural trades and crafts are kept alive
  • Offer young people opportunities and encourage and enable people to get out more
  • Provide learning opportunities for landscape, wildlife, history, archaeology and culture
  • Promote the area as a green tourism destination
  • Offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities
  • Skills that we are looking for: fundraising/bid writing, project management, marketing/promotion, HR, finance/book keeping or business acumen.

Time commitment: approx 6 meetings a year - though some of these may be 'virtual' meetings. Reasonable expenses for travel to meetings may be claimed.

For an Information Pack, contact Shirley Merrick on shirleymerrick@cranbornechase.org.uk or call 01725 517417.
For an informal chat contact Linda Nunn, AONB Director on lindanunn@cranbornechase.org.uk or 01725 517417.

Closing Date: 2nd March 2015. Interviews: end March/April 2015 (TBC)

See our January newsletter for further details.

Cranborne Chase AONB Management Plan (2014-2019)

This is adopted by the nine Local Authorities who share responsibility for guiding the management of this nationally important area - visit the Management Plan page to download the plan.

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.
Find out more..

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.

Walking in the AONB

The Cranborne Chase AONB has over 900 miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways.

In order to help you get out and discover some of our favourite routes, we have set up pages devoted to walking, cycling and riding.


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!

Fovant Military Badges

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.
More Info »

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
More Info »

Other attractions include the Bush Farm Bison Centre at West Knoyle, and Longleat Safari Park
More Info »

Sustainable Tourism

Working in partnership with local visitor related businesses across the Nadder Valley and Chalke Valley areas to promote green tourism and benefit the local economy. More Info »

South Wiltshire Farmland Bird Project

Working closely with farmers to stabilise and increase the numbers of farmland birds and rare arable plants. More Info »

Historic Environment Action Plans

A summary of the key characteristics of the historic environment of the AONB at a landscape scale. More Info »

Cranborne Chase Woodfair - 3 and 4 October 2015

A showcase for contemporary rural life focusing on woodland and associated craft More Info »

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