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 Special qualities

The North Pennines is one of England's most special places - a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty.  


The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Global Geopark is a stunning landscape of open heather moors, dramatic dales, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, close knit communities, glorious waterfalls, fantastic birds, colourful hay meadows, stone-built villages, intriguing imprints of a mining and industrial past and distinctive plants. The area's geology and landscape, archaeology and biodiversity are second to none.

In the North Pennines you'll find:

  • 40% of the UK's upland hay meadows
  • 30% of England's upland heathland and 27% of its blanket bog
  • 80% of England's black grouse
  • Short-eared owl, ring ouzel, snipe and redshank
  • 36% of the AONB is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • Red squirrels, otters and rare arctic alpine plants
  • 22,000 pairs of breeding wading birds
  • Peace, tranquility and fabulous night skies
  • England's biggest waterfall - High Force in Upper Teesdale
Dufton Pike
Black grouse flying across the moors
High Force waterfall in Upper Teesdale
Red squirrel