'Great hope for the future' - North Yorkshire's Areas of Natural Beauty become National Landscapes

All Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in England and Wales have been renamed National Landscapes, including the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale in North Yorkshire.
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The new identity reflects their national importance; the vital contribution they make to protect the nation from the threats of climate change, nature depletion and the wellbeing crisis, whilst also creating greater understanding and awareness of the work of the National Landscape teams and partnerships.

National Landscape teams have been at the forefront of delivering natural solutions to the main challenges facing the nation for many years.

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The new brand underscores their commitment to redoubling their efforts and engaging with a wider audience.

Patchwork fields above Lofthouse deep in Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge in North YorkshirePatchwork fields above Lofthouse deep in Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire
Patchwork fields above Lofthouse deep in Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire

Individual National Landscape teams will focus on habitat restoration to ensure the protection of some of our most endangered species and increase their work to help more people to enjoy time spent in beautiful places.

Because of their size and scope, National Landscapes are ideally positioned to address the environmental issues the UK is facing.

There are 46 National Landscapes in the UK, covering 14% of England, Wales and Northern Ireland including moorland, farmland, coast, forests, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves, and a Global Geopark, and International Dark Sky Reserves.

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They are the UK’s nearby countryside - 66% of people in England (44 million) live within 30 minutes of a National Landscape and at least 170 million people visit them every year.

Sheep on Carlesmoor, Nidderdale.Sheep on Carlesmoor, Nidderdale.
Sheep on Carlesmoor, Nidderdale.

Ellie Hook, Manager for Howardian Hills National Landscape, said: “The Howardian Hills National Landscape, originally designated in 1987 and covering 204 sq km (79 sq miles) of the North Yorkshire countryside, is a unique and captivating landscape, with its well-wooded rolling countryside, patchwork of arable and pasture fields, scenic villages and historic country houses with classic parkland landscapes, all nestled between the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York.

The Howardian Hills Partnership welcomes this exciting day which provides an opportunity to strengthen our profile and build on our work with a range of partner organisations, local communities and wider stakeholders to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area.”

Iain Mann, Lead Officer for Nidderdale National Landscape, said: “Nidderdale’s landscape is treasured by those who live here and the many people who come to visit. Next year will mark 30 years since our partnership came together to conserve and enhance this special place. We look forward to continuing to work with the wide range of partners, from farmers and landowners to volunteers and conservation organisations, as we jointly face up to challenges such as climate change and nature recovery. Our new name reflects the national importance of this work and, we hope, sends a welcoming message to people who don’t yet know us to come and visit.”

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Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England said: “For decades the AONBs have helped protect the beauty of our finest landscapes. Today though we need so much more from these wonderful places, helping us adapt to climate change, catching carbon, restoring depleted wildlife and encouraging more people outside, at the same time as producing food, sustaining local communities and enhancing historic environments.

“Uniting the National Landscapes in this way is very welcome and spells immense opportunity and great hope for the future.”