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Landscape guidelines

We encourage local authorities, agencies and landowners to maintain and enhance local landscapes according to a set of landscape management guidelines.

These guidelines are based on a detailed landscape character assessment that was carried out during 2005-7 as part of a Devon wide project. They are based on the 13 landscape character types which make up East Devon. This area includes both Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon AONB.  

The purpose of the guidelines is to encourage best practice in looking after the landscapes of the Blackdown Hills AONB. They provide an easily understood reference to help shape and guide landscape based plans, projects and schemes across the area. They also aim to influence the future targeting of agri-environment schemes.

The guidelines are not intended to provide a one-stop answer to any planning, development or land management query but rather to provide a framework to explore the options. They are not meant to inhibit innovative planning, management or design. Insteasd they have a key role to play in understanding how and where changes could take place whilst ensuring that the special characteristics and distinctive features of the landscape are conserved.

It is intended that these guidelines will be used by planners, development control officers, farmers, land managers, foresters, wildlife and conservation agencies, countryside management teams, developers and a range of other agencies and organisations involved in landscape related matters.

Link to further background and full management guidelines for East Devon and the Blackdown Hills


What Makes A View

This project examined the character and meaning to local people of key views, and produced guidance on how views can be retained and enhanced through sympathetic planning and land management.
Download the What Makes A View report

Landscape Character Assessment


Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is a tool for identifying the features which give an area its ‘sense of place' and pinpointing what makes it different from its neighbouring areas. The process of LCA describes the characteristic patterns and features of our countryside, and explains how an area has developed over time. It does not judge or rank the character of a place - it simply records it in a systematic way.

The study area is divided into areas of broadly similar character by overlaying different layers of information, either in paper form or using Geographic Information Systems software. These layers include information about the landform, the underlying geology and soils and the influence of human activity as seen in patterns of settlement, land cover and differences in tree cover. National guidance is followed to ensure that this is carried out in a consistent way.

Link to landscape character map of East Devon and the Blackdown Hills, and full LCA document.

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