History

The Solway Firth is the third largest estuary in the UK. The AONB has four distinct zones providing food and shelter for many important birds, insects and animals, including the pink-footed goose and the natterjack toad.

The Solway Coast is the only wintering spot for the whole population of the Spitzbergen Barnacle goose.

The Solway Coast AONB relies on the help of volunteers to ensure it receives the level of care it deserves and needs.

The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was designated in 1964 and stretches from Rockcliffe in the north to Maryport in the south. The primary purpose of this designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area.

The main criteria for designation (landscape quality) is the framework from which everything else hangs, such as nature conservation, tourism and access, cultural heritage, built heritage, archaeological sites and a wide range of other important features.

The Solway Coast in its present form has been part of the landscape for 10,000 years since the retreat of the last great ice sheet. Since then, man has settled in the area and has created a mosaic of habitats, some of which are relatively unspoilt and others that have been modified. The Romans, Vikings, Reivers and eventually ourselves, have shaped the Solway Coast into what it is today.

There is a wide range of habitats, all of which are fragile, that need our help. They include the sand dune coast, the salt march coast, the raised mires and the agricultural land. There is much work to be done and we at the Solway Coast AONB staff unit need your help.

If you have time, please join the Solway Coast Community Volunteers and help to secure the future of one of the most beautiful areas in the world.