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Landscape policy documents

This section contains documents relating to the landscape of the National Park, available as downloads at the bottom of this page.

The Landscape Action Plan is a document containing guidance for people wanting to help maintain the special character of the New Forest, bringing together guidance which already exists in planning documents which have been agreed by a wide range of people. It describes what makes the New Forest landscape so unique and suggests ways of helping to maintain what we all cherish.

Part of the action plan is to assess how the landscape changes over time. This document raises 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 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.

Tranquillity mapping

The Tranquil Areas study was carried out in 2014/15 to map the different levels of tranquillity across the National Park. It was based on a set of nationally accepted criteria, but customised to take into account particular circumstances in the New Forest. All parts of the National Park were assessed, looking at the impacts on tranquillity of roads, railways, built up areas, pylons, airports and recreational activity.


The initial mapping was checked ‘on the ground’ by volunteers from a number of local organisations (see right). They visited 100 locations across the Park during June and July 2014 and gave each site a tranquillity rating according to given criteria. Their findings led to a number of final adjustments to the map.

Uses of the Tranquil Areas mapping

The precise methodology used to create the mapping will allow repeat studies in the future, showing how tranquillity is changing over time and the main influencing factors involved.

The map will also help in making planning decisions and will be one of the factors taken into account when looking at recreation management in the National Park.


Landscape Action Plan

National Park Member


'Our planning policies have been developed to ensure our duties to conserve and enhance the National Park are incorporated in all planning decisions.'

More New Forest Planning policy

Planning policy is a key statutory function and plays a central role in the achievement of the two National Park purposes and the related socio-economic duty.

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