Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Part of the nationally important landscape of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the eastern side of our Borough, extending from Shorne south to Vigo. It is designated because of its scarp slope and dry valleys which often retain a downland character and its woodlands are also highly valued. You can get further information about the AONB on the Kent Downs website.

There is a Management Plan for the Kent Downs AONB which sets out a clear vision, aims and policies for the conservation, management and enhancement of the AONB and its setting up to 2026. We have formally adopted this document, as have all the other local authorities which have the AONB in their area.

Gravesham Landscape Character Assessment

There is a Landscape Character Assessment for the urban fringes and rural area of our Borough. This sets out 11 local landscape character areas. For each area, there is an assessment of condition and sensitivity and guidelines for appropriate actions to protect and enhance the landscape. In addition, the document contains guidelines for different types of landscape and development. The Landscape Character Assessment will be taken into account when considering planning applications in these areas.

Green Cluster Studies

The cluster studies are a series of landscape studies across North Kent which seek to identify areas that could be enhanced for the benefit of communities while at the same time increasing and protecting natural habitats and wildlife. Three cluster studies cover parts of Gravesham Borough, as follows:

Old Chalk New Downs Project

The Old Chalk New Downs Project (The Project) is a new £1.4m Heritage Lottery Funded partnership project hosted by Kent County Council which aims to improve, restore and reconnect threatened fragments of precious chalk downland habitats over a period of 4 years. For the benefit of the rare species who depend on them, people who love them and for future generations.

The Project area will cover almost 10,000 hectares along the Downs from Kemsing Down across to Detling Hill, and includes that part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the south and east of Cobham.

Further information can be found on the Old Chalk New Downs website