Planning and development – corporate report

Natural England designations programme for areas, sites and trails

The list of places Natural England is considering for designation up to March 2017.


This document shows the areas, sites and trails that Natural England is considering in its designations programme to March 2017. Inclusion in the programme is not a commitment to designate.

The designations programme considers whether places are suitable to become:

  • National Parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • Natura 2000 sites (Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas)
  • Ramsar sites
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • National Nature Reserves
  • National Trails

Find out more about the designations programme in Natural England’s designation strategy.

Designated areas, sites and trails are mostly privately owned. Natural England works closely with landowners and other stakeholders:

  • when assessing whether a place is nationally important
  • following designation to support continued high quality management

Designated places represent England’s finest landscapes and very best wildlife and geological sites on land and in the sea. They:

  • provide opportunities for people to experience and enjoy some of our most spectacular and beautiful land and seascapes
  • safeguard vital elements of our natural and cultural heritage
  • provide people with essential services like clean water, climate regulation, beautiful places for recreation, and opportunities to learn about nature
  • are parts of living and functional landscapes, continuing to adapt and change within this wider context
  • form a national asset