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Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership

County Hall
Northumberland, NE61 2EF
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An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them.

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers an area of 138 sq km along 64km of the coastline between Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Coquet Estuary. It contains some of Britain’s most important historic and cultural sites, and some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the country. There is solitude on even the sunniest days of summer contrasting with thriving villages with pubs and restaurants which serve excellent food.
Amidst this striking landscape is the evidence of an area steeped in history, covering 9,000 years of human activity. It is the home of Christianity in England and the capital of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. The combination of fertile seas for fishing, flat land for farming and good access for transport and trade, all combined with strategic locations for attack and defence, has left a fascinating legacy of historic sites.
These historic sites are set within the stunning landscape of wide sandy beaches backed by high sand dunes, and punctuated by rocky outcrops. There are internationally important seabird colonies, thousands of birds feeding on the rich mudflats in winter and one of the largest grey seal colonies in Britain. The dunes and whinstone outcrops are a blaze of colour in spring, and large areas of the AONB receive further protection because of the rarity of their features; even the shallow seas have been designated a European Marine Site because of their outstanding marine wildlife.