Last edited 03 May 2022

Historic Landscape Characterisation

The terms ‘Historic Landscape Characterisation’ (HLC) and ‘Historic Land-use Assessment’ (HLA) refer to the identification and interpretation of historic aspects of the existing landscape or townscape in a particular area.

This is referred to as Historic Landscape Characterisation in England and Wales and Historic Land-use Assessment in Scotland.

Guidance on designating Local Landscape Areas, published in October 2020 by NatureScot and Historic Environment Scotland, describes a Historic Land Use Assessment (HLA) as: ‘…an online map giving a Scotland-wide view of land use in modern and past times. It uses simple annotated maps to show how the landscape has changed over time, giving the user a tool to decipher the broad elements of the historic environment.’

See also: Characterising and capturing the diversity of place.

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