Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Surrey Hills

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 28th June 2021.

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Photo of Angela Richardson Angela Richardson Conservative, Guildford

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans Natural England have to extend the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; what the Government policy is on expanding the AONB designation; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government’s response to the independent Landscapes Review, made in the Written Ministerial Statement 24 June 2021, contributes to the vision set out in the Government’s Ten-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, to start the process for designating more of England's beautiful and iconic landscapes as safeguarding these areas for future generations and bringing more people within closer reach of nature. Two of England’s most iconic landscapes, the Yorkshire Wolds and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge, will be considered to become new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Extensions to the Surrey Hills and Chilterns AONBs are also being considered.

Natural England has statutory responsibility for the designation of areas as AONB under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and will be beginning this work with immediate effect.

The Government will be working closely with our partners over the coming months including local authorities and National Park Authorities, to address the Landscapes Review’s recommendations in full and consult on draft proposals later this year.

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