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Arnside - a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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This small, but distinctive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) lies at the head of Morecambe Bay and spans the county boundaries of Cumbria and Lancashire. The underlying Carboniferous Limestone had a dominating influence on the character of this intimate landscape of sheep-sided hills and low intervening valleys. This varied landscape is a mosaic of low limestone cliffs, salt-marshes, ancient semi-natural woodland, limestone grassland, and wood pasture. It contains an outstanding range of internationally valued and protected habitats including:

  • Semi-natural woodlands dominated with ash, oak and hazel
  • Intertidal sand-flats and salt-marshes used by migrating and wintering birds
  • Species-rich limestone grasslands
  • Limestone pavements
  • Reclaimed mossland, salt-marsh and reedbed lagoons

This is a stronghold for many rare and protected species with 15 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) including Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve. Extensive areas are proposed as candidates for further European designation. A number of endangered species are resident in the area such as the High Brown Fritillary butterfly, birds such as the Bittern and Marsh Harrier and the Lancastrian Whitebeam to name but a few. This rich and diverse area is home to half the flowering plants of the British Isles.

The slow pace of life and the narrow winding roads make this a place for quiet recreational pursuits such as walking, bird watching and botanising. The limited accommodation and parking is mainly concentrated in the small villages within the area.

The Countryside Management Service, with a staff of two and the help of volunteers and contractors, undertakes small-scale improvement work to enhance enjoyment and appropriate use of the area. The Service also manages and wardens Local Nature Reserves on Warton Crag and at Trowbarrow. To promote greater awareness and understanding of the area a number of walks leaflets are produced. A pack of four leaflets can be obtained from the Office at £1.50 including post and packing.
Further information can be obtained from:
Countryside Management Service, Old Station Building, Arnside, Via Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 0HG Tel/Fax: (01524) 761034

The Arnside/Silverdale AONB Landscape Trust is a membership charity which exists to encourage awareness and raise funds to improve the landscape and conservation value of the area. The Trust organises events during the year to promote better understanding of the AONB. It also produces a journal 'Keer to Kent' which explores topics of interest and concern within the area.
Further information can be obtained from:
Arnside/Silverdale AONB Landscape Trust, c/o Old Station Building, Arnside, Via Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 0HG Tel/Fax: (01524) 761034

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