Currently there are only parts of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Herefordshire. These are the Malvern Hills AONB & the Wye Valley AONB.
In 2012 CPRE Herefordshire produced the report A New AONB for the Marches? Exploring the case for more Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This focussed on the hills of West Herefordshire, which are of undoubted beauty but which, for mainly bureaucratic reasons, have never been included in an AONB.
Please click on the image to download the report. To view larger maps, visit http://www.bosci.net/cpreaonb.html
In 2013 CPRE Herefordshire formally submitted the report to Natural England as part of a proposal to designate West Herefordshire as an AONB. The proposal was supported by Herefordshire Council. Natural England had recently developed a new programme for assessing new or extended designations and included our proposal in this. However, shortly afterwards they suspended the programme to concentrate on a backlog of boundary variations to which they were already committed. They advised that they did not expect to be able to re-start the programme before 2018/19.
The Glover Review
In 2018 the Government announced a new Review of England's National Parks and AONBs, chaired by Julian Glover. In response to the Review's call for evidence CPRE Herefordshire has submitted its experience of trying to get West Herefordshire designated. We have recommended that the Review should take a thorough and critical look at the designation process, and that, whatever new arrangements the Review might promote, they should include as a matter of administrative propriety the consideration of current proposals which, like ours, are stuck in Natural England's stalled programme of work. We also drew attention to the danger of a planning "dead zone" on Wales-England border, caused by bureaucratic difficulties put in the way of designating areas that straddled the border.