The Landscape Character Network defines landscape character as 'a distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements in the landscape that makes one landscape different from another, rather than better or worse'.
Landscape Character Assessment
A Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) classifies, maps and describes the distinctive character of individual landscapes. The LCA describes what is already in the landscape but does not prescribe what should be there. It is a useful approach to understanding the differences between landscapes and can serve as a framework for decision-making that respects local distinctiveness.
Landscape character can be assessed at a number of different levels, from the national level to the very local. Please see below for details of National Character Areas, Cotswold AONB, Cotswold District outside the AONB, Special Landscape Areas and Cotswold Water Park.
(opens in a new window)National Character Areas
England has been divided into 159 areas with similar landscape character, which are called National Character Areas (NCAs), previously know as Joint Character Areas (JCAs). Cotswold District falls primarily within NCAs 107 and 108, with a small area in the north of the District falling within NCA 106.
- National Character Area 106. Severn and Avon Vales
- National Character Area 107 - Cotswolds
- National Character Area 108. Upper Thames Clay Vales
Landscape Character Assessments – Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- The Landscape of the Cotswolds (2006) A general introduction to the landscape of the AONB.
- Cotswolds AONB Landscape Character Assessment (2004) LCA for the whole of the AONB, dividing the AONB into 19 landscape types.
- Landscape Strategy and Guidelines for each of the 19 landscape character types,to inform decision making about the suitability of proposed development or change.
- Local Distinctiveness Guide (2004) Additional information on features, particularly of the built environment that gives the AONB its 'Cotswolds' character.
- Cotswolds AONB Management Plan
Landscape Character Assessments – Areas of Cotswold District outside the Cotswolds AONB
Assessment of Landscapes outside the Cotswolds AONB (White Consultants 2000) Largely superseded by the 2006 LDA Design report.
Study of Land Surrounding Key Settlements in Cotswold District (White Consultants 2000 and updated in 2014) This was prepared to aid in the development of the Local Plan. Available on the Planning Policy - Evidence base and monitoring web-page (under Natural Environment).
Local Countryside Designation Review: Special Landscape Areas (White Consultants 2001) Prepared for Cotswold District Council in 2001 to review the Special Landscape Areas. It should be noted that not all the recommendations within the report were accepted by the Council and the final approved boundaries are as shown on the Special Landscape Areas webpage.
Cotswold Water Park - Integrated Landscape Character Assessment (LDA Design 2009) The boundary of the study area encompasses the wider setting of the Cotswold Water Park.