The Dorset AONB was designated in 1959. It covers nearly all of the Dorset coast and significant areas inland. The geology is strongly expressed along the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, and it gives rise to a varied landscape of downland, ridges and vales.
Two of National Grid’s electricity transmission lines run through this AONB. The independent landscape assessment concluded that three sections of these lines have landscape and visual impacts of very high importance. One of these sections runs from the South Dorset Escarpment in a north-easterly direction through a shallow vale towards Broadmayne. The other two sections run from Spyway in the west to the head of Stancombe in the east, and from Winterbourne Abbas south-east to the edge of the South Dorset Escarpment at Bronkham Hill, respectively.