In England and Wales , there is a huge variety of scenery and landscapes, from dramatic coasts to remote mountains. Those landscapes considered most valuable are designated as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). These landscapes are protected by law and managed to maintain their special character for now and the future.
Cannock Chase was designated as an AONB in 1958 because of its beautiful landscape, its wildlife and its history. Cannock Chase is the largest surviving area of lowland heathland in the Midlands . Lowland heath is an internationally scarce and threatened wildlife habitat. The AONB also has extensive areas of forest and woodland along with areas of designed parkland, sand and gravel quarrying and mixed agriculture.
Cannock Chase and its associated animal and plant communities are part of an historic landscape dating back thousands of years. Wild deer still roam the Chase and are probably descended from the original herd introduced in Norman times for hunting purposes.
There is a Management Plan to ensure that this special place is kept stunning and special. Lots of local people and organisations are involved in managing the process of conserving the area, as we all have a vested interest in securing its future for our continued enjoyment.
There are many exciting and peaceful activities for people visiting the AONB from mountain biking to just taking in the fantastic views. The best way to access this fun is to visit one of the local visitor’s centres (Cannock Chase Visitor Centre, Birches Valley, Museum of Cannock Chase, Shugborough Hall, The Wildlife Trust and Chase Innovation Centre)where you can get advice about where best to go. Alternatively, you can start to get more involved in shaping this wonderful landscape. Call the AONB Unit about volunteering activities from taking photographs to willow weaving and litter picks, you can meet new friends and feel good about your environment.
If you visit the AONB please take into account the amount of time and effort that is taken into conserving and enhancing the area. Help us by keeping onto designated paths, not dropping your litter and going to the signposted visitor centres. By keeping the AONB in superb condition it keeps it a pleasant and happy place for you and your family to come for future years.
To find out more about Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to read our management and conservation plans, visit our website.