Last edited 13 May 2020

Landscape character area

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The term ‘landscape’ refers to an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors’ (ref European Landscape Convention).

Landscape character refers to a distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements that makes one landscape different from another.

Landscape Character Types (LCTs) are generic, typically homogenous types of landscape that may occur in different parts of the country. They have similar geology, topography, drainage patterns, vegetation, land use, patterns of settlement and aesthetic character.

Landscape classification is the process of sorting landscape into different types without attaching relative values to different sorts of landscape.

Landscape Character Areas (sometimes described as Local Landscape Character Areas or Regional Landscape Character Areas), are discrete geographical areas of a particular landscape type with a broadly consistent character, which might include:

A landscape character assessment (LCA) identifies and describes variations in the character of the landscape, explaining the combination of elements and features that make landscapes distinctive by mapping and describing character types and areas. LCAs can be used to inform planning policies, allocate land for development, assess planning applications and make environmental assessments.

Ref Landscape Character Assessment Guidance for England and Scotland, The Countryside Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage 2002.

National Character Area (NCA) profile documents explain how environmental evidence and information about places can be accessed and used. They divide England into 159 distinct natural areas defined by a unique combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity, history, and cultural and economic activity. Their boundaries follow natural lines in the landscape rather than administrative boundaries.

Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-character-area-profiles-data-for-local-decision-making

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