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Cannock Chase heathland

An outstanding landscape

Why are we a National Landscape?

Cannock Chase was designated an AONB in 1958 for the natural beauty of its elevated heaths, forests and historic parklands, presenting an unspoilt wilderness that contrasts with the surrounding built-up conurbations of the West Midlands. At just 26 sq miles / 68 sq kilometres, it is the smallest mainland AONB in England. In 2023 all AONBs were renamed National Landscapes to reflect their national importance and the vital contribution they make.

The natural beauty of the National Landscape can be expressed as the relationship between the area’s geology, landform, soils, climate, wildlife and ecology on the one hand, and its rich history of human settlement and land use, archaeology, buildings, cultural associations, and the people who live in it, past and present on the other. It is this relationship between people and place which makes the area distinctive and valued.

The special qualities of Cannock Chase are described below beside the factors of natural beauty that are set out in Natural England’s Guidance for assessing landscapes for designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England.

Understanding why the Chase is so special and the reasons for its designation, is central to ensuring it is looked after and continues to be special for generations to come.

You can find out more about the special qualities of Cannock Chase AONB in our latest State of the AONB Report.

More information