Purposes of AONB designation
Current powers to designate AONBs are derived from the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (NI) Order 1985. Designation signals that the landscape is of importance to the whole of Northern Ireland and it allows NIEA to make proposals for:
- Conserving or enhancing the natural beauty and amenities of the area;
- Conserving wildlife, historic objects or natural phenomena within it;
- Promoting its enjoyment by the public;
- Providing or maintaining public access to it.
Other public bodies are required to have regard to protecting the area’s special features in their work. District Councils in Northern Ireland usually provide additional resources to manage an area designated as an AONB.