logo - The Countryside Agency    
title - Countryside Character Initiative

The landscape is what determines the character of the British countryside:
it belongs to each and every one of us. Policy makers, practitioners and special interest groups need techniques to identify what gives a locality its own sense of place, what makes it different from its neighbouring area, and what conditions should be set for any new development and change.

The Countryside Character Initiative is a programme of information and advice on the character of the English countryside. It includes systematic descriptions of the features and characteristics that make the landscape, and guidance documents on how to undertake Landscape Character Assessment.

"Most of us welcome progressive change, but don't want to see development running amok. We applaud new woodland to enhance the landscape, but know that planting and management must be sensitive to the locality.
We can be excited by bold regeneration for places in need of a lift, but recognise that the new development must work around the best of the old, and not sweep it away."
Richard Wakeford Chief Executive, The Countryside Agency

All of the above issues face decision makers at national, regional, and local level, where tough decisions have to be made on development and change. The Countryside Character initiative provides a vital context for such decisions, and is an important way of addressing sustainable development.

More information about the Countryside Character and its history

Click here for more information.

Landscape Character Assessment Guidance

Click on the heading above for this guidance. Published by the Countryside Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage, this guidance shows how to identify and express the different elements, such as woodlands, hedgerows, moors, mountains and farmland, building styles, and historic artefacts, which give a place its unique character. This can help planners and policy makers set the right conditions for new development and changing systems of land management.

Landscape Character Assessment can be used in many other situations, for
example, in devising indicators to gauge countryside change, in helping local people prepare Village Design Statements, Parish Plans and Market Towns Healthchecks and in devising environmental improvement strategies for places undergoing regeneration.

The documents can also be ordered free of charge by contacting: 0870 1206466 (quote ref CAX 84).

Countryside Character Network

Click here for The Countryside Character Network.


graphic - Map of England
link - South West link - South East link - West Midlands link - East Midlands link - The East link - Yorkshire and The Humber link - North East link - North West
Volume 1 North East
Volume 2 North West
Volume 3 Yorkshire and The Humber
Volume 4 East Midlands
Volume 5 West Midlands
Volume 6 The East
Volume 7 South East
Volume 8 South West
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