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Two stage process

Landscape character assessment is a two-stage process that allows time to understand how a place has become the way it is, to hear what it means to people and to identify unwelcome trends in the way land is used and managed.

In the first stage, you define the purpose and scope of the assessment. In the second stage, you address the question of 'so what' and identify what happens next.

Characterisation, or understanding what makes a place distinctive

  • Work out the assessment's purpose, who should be involved and what resources are needed
  • Review existing character information
  • Deepen understanding of character by walking, viewing and recording qualities of the landscape
  • Refine the information, creating a summary character map, noting the main forces causing change

Making judgements and identifying what happens next

  • Identify the best way of making decisions, who should be involved, what further information is needed
  • Produce outputs such as landscape strategies for land management activity or landscape guidelines for new development and protecting landscapes of particular significance