Navigation: Home Page > Natural beauty


Natural beauty

The statutory purpose of designating an area of land as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area. This comprises the area's distinctive landscape character, biodiversity and geodiversity, historic and cultural environment.

A special place

The Norfolk Coast is a unique area of remarkable beauty, diversity and scientific importance. What we see today is a result of the interplay of environmental influences on the area over millions of years and more recently its use and modification by people over thousands of years. The human influence is obvious in settlements and buildings, communications, field patterns and agriculture, and in archaeological remains. Even the apparently wild parts of the area, for example coastal marshes and cliffs, have been modified by flood defence banks and erosion protection structures. 

A description of the unique and outstanding qualities of natural beauty can be found in the Statement of Significance in the AONB Management Plan.

It may be useful to read this in conjunction with viewing a map of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

A summary of the key characteristics of the Norfolk Coast's natural beauty can also be found in the AONB Management Plan.

Landscape, biodiversity and geodiversity

The landscape we see is a product of the interaction of an area's geology, its past and present climate, and how people have used the land – often over thousands of years. Landforms are based on geology, which together with soil types influence hydrology and land use, and the wildlife habitats that are components of the landscape. Buildings and settlements are also wildlife habitats and landscape components, and often reflect local geology. So landscape, biodiversity and geodiversity are closely linked, and also interact with building and settlement patterns and local cultural heritage. Landscapes are much more than just a view, and tell an often rich and complex story.  

What the AONB Management Plan says...

See the 20 year vision, objectives and policies for landscape, biodiversity and geodiversity from the 2014-19 AONB Management Plan

Read the introduction and key issues from the landscape, biodiversity and geodiversity section of the 2014-19 AONB Management Plan

See the sub-pages in this section for a closer look at the area's landscape, its biodiversity and its geodiversity the cultural heritage components of its natural beauty - its built and historic environment and its links with the adjacent marine environment