Landscape Character Assessment

Land Management Advice

Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) provides a useful framework for the setting out of priorities for land and habitat management, being as it is, a spatially-referenced, systematic process for the description of the rural landscape.

LCA is primarily concerned with describing the inherent character of landscape – that is how the physiographic (geology, topography, soils) and cultural (land use, tree cover and settlement pattern) elements have combined to produce the distinctive patterns that allow us to distinguish one type of landscape from another.

The inherent character of landscape is determined with reference to its historical development in addition to field survey, but the condition of the landscape will affect how the inherent character is expressed on the ground today. A landscape in poor condition may have one of more of its key characteristics lacking or under-represented, or uncharacteristic features may have been added.

Through the consideration of both inherent character and current condition, it is possible to start to determine general opportunities for activities which will strengthen landscape character, by ensuring that, wherever possible, the characteristics appropriate to each Landscape Type that should be present, are present and are well-represented.

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