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Wildlife & Nature

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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What is an AONB?

The Isles of Scilly are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The isles were nominated as an AONB in 1975. The purpose of the AONB designation is to safeguard, enhance and promote the distinctive landscape, wildlife, historical and architectural character of the Isles of Scilly, whilst fostering the social and economic well-being of its people.

The AONB work with a Joint Advisory Committee which directs the work of the AONB in Scilly. These partners are both local and national bodies and they include the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Duchy of Cornwall, English Heritage, Natural England, Island Tourism, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, National Farmers Union, Tresco Estate and the RSPB.

See the the AONB's 10 top tips for being a more responsible visitor »

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How to get involved

The AONB Unit organises regular beach cleans throughout the year. Everyone is welcome to join this hands-on way to help keep Scilly beautiful. The marine environment is under ever increasing threat from flotsam and jetsam which can cause untold damage to flora and fauna. The Isles of Scilly AONB Unit works in partnership with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and the Marine Conservation Society to clean beaches and monitor the increasing tide of waste that ends up on our shores. This work depends on volunteers so the more helping hands the better. Beach cleans are weather dependent and are advertised on posters around the Islands, on the Tourist Information Centre notice board on St Mary's and on Radio Scilly.



It's a statutory requirement for the local authority to publish a plan which formulates the policy for the AONB.

The plan entitled Management strategy 2010-2014 included the following points:

  • Retains the special qualities of landscape and seascape that form the essence of the AONB
  • Is recognised, understood and conserved for all to appreciate, enjoy and respect in a manner that is socially and economically sustainable
  • Responds to forces for change, including climate change, tourism, agriculture, development and energy security by integrating the needs of local communities and visitors with the conservation and enhancement of a nationally important landscape
  • Welcomes visitors who contribute to the sustainable economy of the Islands without compromising the special qualities of the AONB
  • Supports a farming community that is successfully adapting to changing economic circumstance through sustainable diversification and strategic resource management that respects and conserves the AONB's traditional landscape features
  • Supports a population with a strong sense of community, working in partnership to achieve social, economic and environmental sustainability
  • Supports a diverse community that enjoys a good quality of life, with opportunities for young people to remain on the Islands and with access to fulfilling employment and a wide range of services

For more information: » »
Isles of Scilly AONB Visitor Information Pack »




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