|The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one
of Britain's finest landscapes. It is part of a family
of protected areas that include national parks in Britain as well
as national parks and nature reserves in many other
countries throughout the world.
Its central feature is the long, majestic dale of the River Nidd that runs from the wild fells around Great Whernside, south and east towards the Vale of York. On the western side of the AONB is a remote and wild gritstone landscape, with moorland that is internationally important for wildlife. The eastern side of the AONB is a much softer, pastoral landscape with picturesque towns and villages, and historic parks and gardens such as Hackfall Wood.
Nidderdale AONB is a working landscape that has been shaped by centuries of human activity. The valley has been moulded by a rich land use history that embraces agriculture, mining, quarrying, textiles and water supply. The varied landscape has created diverse habitats, which support a wide range of flora and fauna of national and international importance. It is also a rich and complex historic environment with a wealth of medieval landscape features still visible in the more recent legacy of the AONB's industrial past.