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A definitive natural history of the Wye Valley, from its appeal to the enthusiastic naturalist, to the geology, geomorphology, conservation and ecological history of this diverse area.
The spectacular landscape of the Wye Valley region has attracted visitors for over 250 years. It is one of the few lowland Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (designated in 1971) and is dominated by the river Wye, which flows through picturesque meadows and outstanding limestone scenery alike.
George Peterken, who has lived in the region for many years and helped to draft the AONB's Nature Conservation Strategy - launched in 1999 - examines the diverse ecology, natural history, landscape and history of a district which is defined mainly by the extraordinary evolution of the river Wye as a meandering mature river entrenched into the varied geological landscape.
With little previously published on the area, Peterken explores the results of conservation efforts in the region, recognising that despite the protection afforded to the `outstanding natural beauty' of natural habitats and wild species, these have suffered substantial losses. However, many initiatives continue to promote effective conservation within the AONB and surrounding areas.