Chilterns AONB Boundary Review

Chilterns AONB Boundary Review

The current designation of the Chilterns AONB protects a specific area. The boundary helps people to understand which places need careful consideration with regards to planning, development or land-use change.


The Chilterns AONB Boundary does not cover the whole of the Chilterns landscape, with some of the Chilterns natural characteristics extending past the invisible line that has been drawn.

The Chilterns Conservation Board has long been committed to working with its stakeholders to explore the case for and against extending the boundary of the protected area to cover the wider Chilterns landscape. Therefore, in June 2021, we welcomed Natural England’s announcement of its new Designations Programme, part of which will involve exploring both an extension to the Chilterns AONB and ways in which the management and governance arrangements for the AONB could be developed.

Latest news on the Boundary review

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About the Chilterns AONB

‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)’ is a formal designation for an area of land that is of national importance for its natural beauty. Read more about what makes the landscapes of the Chilterns AONB special, and learn about the contribution of AONBs to the national economy and tourism each year.

A boundary to benefit people and the landscape

The wider Chilterns area is home to many vibrant and growing communities. An extension to the Chilterns AONB would help to protect high-quality natural environments and historic features close to many of these urban areas for future generations to enjoy. The new designation would also help us and our partners to provide people living in these areas with greater opportunities to access to the countryside, benefit from the tranquillity it provides, and get away from the pressures of everyday life.

It is equally important for Chilterns’ wildlife habitats and cultural heritage. With its globally rare chalk streams, wildflower-rich chalk grassland and prehistoric settlements – including Bronze and Iron Age hillforts – reviewing the boundary of the AONB provides opportunities for a more strategic approach to caring for the special features of the Chilterns’ landscape that are currently outside the protected area.

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Next steps

The Boundary Review project is being run by Natural England. From the latter half of 2022, work on this project will start with commissioning consultants to assess currently undesignated areas around the Chilterns AONB for inclusion within the protected landscape, and will include opportunities for public engagement.

The CCB is one of many stakeholders assisting Natural England with its work. One of our key roles is to host information about the Boundary Review on our website, keeping people up-to-date with what is happening. As new details emerge, we will publish them here, so do return regularly.

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Boundary Review: Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about the Boundary Review process, please read Natural England’s Frequently Asked Questions. If you cannot find the information you require in that document, please contact Natural England directly by emailing

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Challenging HS2

Find out how we are actively working to hold HS2 and their contractors to account, to reduce environmental damage and seek the best designs possible.
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Getting help with planning

We are sadly unable to respond to all queries we receive on planning matters from members of the public.  Here you can find out how we work and who might be able to help you.
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Plan your trip to the Chilterns!

Search the interactive map: select from a list of categories to bring up icons showing the location and information of walks, bike rides, places to visit, tasty local products and plenty more across the Chilterns area
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Follow the Countryside Code

Help us to protect the Chilterns AONB when you’re out and about by following the Countryside Code and the rules for the site you are visiting. Please respect others around you and those who care for and work in this special landscape.
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