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An Outstanding love of Nidderdale AONB

We spoke to Alice Crosby, Woodland Officer at Nidderdale AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), once voted one of the favourite beauty spots in Yorkshire and Humber by readers of Which? Travel magazine.

Bluebells

Nidderdale is part of the national family of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) – landscapes so special they are protected for the nation – it’s not surprising why.

If you’re ever bogged down by a problem or situation, there’s nothing like being in nature to put a perspective on it all. Research from the University of East Anglia found spending time outdoors has significant and wide-ranging health benefits. It’s not surprising ‘forest bathing’ is a popular practice in Japan!

Sunset

OUR AONB IN NUMBERS

Nidderdale AONB covers 601km2 in the foothills of the Pennines in North Yorkshire. It features windswept moorlands, steep river valleys, rolling pastoral scenes, peaceful woodlands and tranquil expanses of water, with 11 reservoirs. It’s home to the world heritage site Fountains Abbey, 125 ancient monuments, 3 historic gardens, 574 listed buildings and 568 miles of public rights of way.

Dark sky

Being outdoors is one of the few things we know will make a positive impact on your physical and mental health, boosting your immune system.

Go to our website nidderdaleaonb.org.uk to download free walking guides from short, family friendly routes to long distance trials. We’ve got plenty of suggestions to inspire you – from the Washburn Valley in the South to Jervaux Abbey at the northern tip of the AONB.

SOMEWHERE TO LOOK UP

One simple thing you can do to really put life into perspective is to look up at the constellations on a dark, clear night.

Field

Nidderdale AONB is home to large areas of open moorland and small, remote villages, which means that light pollution is minimal and the night skies are some of the darkest in England. We have four official Dark Sky Discovery Sites: Thruscross, Scar House Reservoir, Fewston and Toff Gate.

A LANDSCAPE WORTH PROTECTING

The AONB is protected because of its special qualities. We work with landowners, environmental groups and volunteers on conservation projects to help safeguard these qualities. Tree planting is one of the areas we’re focussing on in the next five years.

We want you to enjoy the AONB as we passionately believe people are at the centre of conservation. It’s important to create connections between people and the natural world. The more people enjoy and fall in love with it, the more they create memories and connections, the more they’ll want to protect it.

So, if you do plan to go savour the outdoors, remember Respect, Protect, Enjoy – follow the Countryside Code.

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