Farming has long been the greatest influence on the landscape of the Solway. Royal forests originally covered vast areas of the Solway Plain, but by the 1400s the demand for new farmland had caused large areas to be cleared. Today, agricultural land accounts for the greatest proportion of the AONB.
The area is very attractive, with charming villages scattered among small fields and rolling pastures. Many of the original field boundaries and the stone-built 'kests', or hedgebanks, remain. The distinctive local red sandstone is also found in centuries-old gate stoops (posts) and traditional barns.
Hedgerows and field margins are homes to badgers, foxes, voles, hedgehogs and all the familiar characters of England's countryside.
The beauty of this place has been moulded by generations carving a living from the land. However, new demands and pressures on farmers have put this beauty at risk and careful management is needed to ensure the survival both of the countryside we know and this way of life.