Our countryside

The Wye Valley AONB is an internationally important protected landscape containing some of the most beautiful lowland scenery in Britain

Within the AONB a 58 mile/92km stretch of the River Wye winds down the valley through spectacular limestone gorge scenery and dense ravine woodlands. Superb wildlife, intriguing archaeological and industrial remains and impressive geological features all make it into one of the most fascinating Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Designated in 1971, this unique landscape straddles the border between England and Wales. It includes areas within Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire.

The Wye Valley AONB has been designated for special attention in recognition of its

(1) Exceptional landscape - dramatic limestone gorge and some of the most outstanding native woodlands to be found in Britain.

(2) Impressive geology - from Silurian limestones to plateaux of Old Red Sandstone: "Like a set of pie dishes, one within the other."

(3) Historic legacies - Silure (Iron Age) hillforts; Norman castles; the first Cistercian Abbey in Wales and a pioneering industrial heritage in iron; brass; wire; tinplate and copper works.

(4) Wildlife - A quarter of Britain's population of lesser horseshoe bats, a growing population of peregrine falcons, goshawks, ravens, rare whitebeam, nightjar and lesser known fish like the shad and twaite..

The designation indicates to everyone how important it is to protect and preserve the area's distinctive qualities, for the benefit of present and future generations. Take a minute and let us know what you value in the Wye Valley AONB by answering the poll quaestion below.



What do you value most in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

  •   The River Wye
  •   Heritage
  •   Views
  •   Industrial History
  •   Local food
  •   Attractions
  •   Towns and villages
  •   Water activities
  •   Walking paths and trails
  •   Historic buildings
  •   Woodland
  •   Landscape quality

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Latest News from the Wye Valley

  • Partership work manages riverside in Ross thumbnail

    Partership work manages riverside in Ross

    A partnership between the AONB Unit, Ross-on-Wye Town Council and Natural England have started tree management work on the banks of the Wye where it passes through Ross, to benefit biodiversity and create river views.

  • Youth Rangers are GO in the Wye Valley! thumbnail

    Youth Rangers are GO in the Wye Valley!

    If you are 14-18 years old and love exploring the countryside of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, then the Wye Valley AONB Youth Ranger programme is looking for you! Come along to our Taster Day on September 30th.

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