High Weald

There are 6 protected landscapes which lie wholly within the South East; the Surrey Hills, South Downs, Kent Downs, Isle of Wight, Chichester Harbour and High Weald.

Parts of the North Wessex Downs, Chilterns, Cotswolds and Cranbourne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONBs and the New Forest National Park also fall within the South East.  The High Weald is one of the largest protected landscapes.

Surrey Hills
419sq km Designated 1958

Spanning Surrey from east to west, the AONB is in the 'front line' of commuter sprawl from London. Its well-known beauty spots - Box Hill, Leith Hill, Devils Punch Bowl and the Hogs Back - have made it a traditional daytrip destination for South London.  To the north it is characterised by a landscape of chalk hills, to the south the undulating wooded Greensand Ridge.

Kent Downs
878sq km Designated 1968

Travelling east, the chalk and greensand outcrops of the Surrey Hills continue into Kent to meet the sea at the cliffs of Dover. Designated as the Kent Downs AONB, the hills are traversed by the river valleys of the Darent, Medway and Stour. Historic parklands - the best-known being Knole and Chartwell - are one of the area's most distinctive features.

South Downs National Park
983 sq km Designated as an AONB in 1966 and as a National Park in 2009

The prominent north-facing scarp slope of the Downs is instantly recognisable from the north. To the south, gentle slopes fall away to coastal conurbations and the sea. Prehistoric field patterns and remains, ancient hill-forts and barrows, are an integral part of the landscape. Famous beauty spots include Seven Sisters, Beachy Head, Devil's Dyke and Ditchling Beacon. The Meon and Rother river valleys are famous fishing country.

Chichester Harbour
74 sq km Designated 1964

The smallest AONB in the region, the harbour is one of the South Coast's most popular sailing waters. The harbour is made up of a series of tidal inlets that punctuate areas of fertile landscape, giving way to saltmarsh and intertidal mud-lands.