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Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Digital boundaries for areas in Northern Ireland designated as having Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This designation is designed to protect and enhance the qualities of each area and to promote their enjoyment by the public. There are 8 AONBs in Northern Ireland. The resources in this dataset provide more information on each of them.

As it is a public agency producing spatial data for environmental applications, many of NIEA's operations fall under the INSPIRE Directive for providing an infrastructure for sharing geographical spatial data across Europe. 

Digital Datasets

The datasets that can be downloaded here are only digital boundaries - there is no background mapping. The digitising is based on Land & Property Services (LPS) / Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) maps and they can supply vector and raster maps for background mapping for Northern Ireland.

File Formats 

  • This data can be used by Geographical Information Systems (GIS), such as ArcGIS (60-days free trail), the ArcGIS Explorer app (free) and QGIS (free).
  • The datasets are available as zipped shapefiles which is the file format used by ArcView.
  • If you have any problems reading these files, please contact [email protected].
  • Shapefiles can be read by most GIS packages, look in the Help section of your software on how to import them.


These files are based on Irish National Grid (TM75 - EPSG:4300) projections. Some GIS packages allow you to translate between different projections. If you need the data in a different projection, check to see if your GIS package can re-project one of the datasets, or use Grid InQuest converter.

Use of the datasets

Please note that by downloading the digital datasets, you will be accepting the Terms and Conditions.

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Modified Date
Release Date
Other (Not Open)
Open Definition
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area (WKT)
POLYGON ((-8.16926 55.4436, -5.08667 55.4436, -5.08667 53.8702, -8.16926 53.8702, -8.16926 55.4436))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Northern Ireland