Landscape Action Plan

Forest scenes by Mark Heighes

Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment

The Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment were approved at the New Forest National Park Authority meeting on Thursday 26 September 2013. The Landscape Action Plan has now been published and is available on the right.

Background to the Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment

The Landscape Action Plan is a document containing guidance for people wanting to help maintain the special character of the New Forest. It describes what makes the New Forest landscape so unique and suggests ways of helping to maintain what we all cherish.

It brings together guidance which already exists in planning documents which have been agreed by a wide range of people. It does not carry any legal weight and does not supersede the existing planning documents for the National Park – the Core Strategy and Supplementary Planning Documents.

Steve Avery, Director of Park Services, said: ‘The draft Landscape Action Plan does not ‘prohibit’ the use of certain features in the landscape – rather it aims to encourage people to consider options which might be more in keeping with the character of the New Forest. It is very different from a planning document and does not tell people what they can do and is not a means of controlling things.’

Part of the action plan is to assess how the landscape changes over time. We hope this document will raise awareness about the landscape – particularly for people coming into the area - and some of the issues which are regularly brought to us by parish councils and other bodies, so we can work together to keep the New Forest special.

Natural England has asked all local authorities to prepare Landscape Character Assessments. Natural England has set out a prescribed framework on how the documents should be formulated so they are quite detailed and technical.

The Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment were compiled with the help of a wide range of organisations. The Landscape Character Assessment will be published in May 2014.

Photo by Mark Heighes

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