Aha you ask another acronym and what is it? AONBs are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – designed to protect the ‘best’ areas although that is a rather subjective view! They do have the rather unforeseen and socially divisive effect of protecting areas which tend to attract more affluent residents. We end up with the poor living in areas where the environment is unprotected and the affluent living in protected areas.
For most people AONBs are not close by and have less significance than their local area so why not Areas of Outstanding Local Significance (AOLSs)? All of those areas adjacent to where the bulk of the population live would gain this status. All those local green areas – fields, open space, etc – where most people interact with the environment – and are in reality for most people the area that directly impacts upon their quality of life would gain special protection! We could plan to improve the quality of life of our urban population.