LandscapeLandscape Character Assessment

Protecting South Downs National Park

View of Proposed Development site

Landvision have recently helped local residents in ” Protecting South Downs National Park. Landvision were invited to work with Deans Preservation Group to undertake a landscape assessment for land adjacent to the South Downs National Park. The landscape assessment was written for the group, to protect historic Open Downs landscapes, which for centuries have been agricultural downland. The site is immediately adjacent to the South Downs National Park and had it been developed, loss of downland landscape would have resulted in a lowering of  visual amenity for the many users of South Downs National Park  who currently enjoy the special landscape qualities of this adjacent land. What makes a landscape a Valued Landscape? Valued landscapes tend to have high scenic quality and beauty. They will also often have a high landscape quality and be well maintained and in good condition. The land in question has high scenic quality, a natural unspoilt landscape beauty. This landscape quality is partly due to its historic management as agricultural grazing land. The land as a result has rare Sussex downland species which require specific management and chalk downland soils to thrive. Valued landscapes can also have rare qualities or characteristics. In the case of this area of land, there was a timeless charm and tranquillity, with contiguity of land form with the surrounding South Downs National Park.

The landscape character of the land is Open Downs.

This is in itself a highly valued landscape, being historic downland, with rolling open downs, stunning views and with a myriad of tiny medieval villages clustered amongst the dry valleys in the downs, just a short distance from the sea. This is part of the work Landvision undertook in assessing the proposed development and protecting the South Downs National Park. Landvision worked with the Group to safeguard this land through exploring what made it special for local residents and visitors to the South Downs National Park. Associations of the Open Downs. The Open Downs landscape inspired artists like Eric Ravilious, writers like Rudyard Kipling; they created world class works of art based on the outstanding landscape beauty of the  Open Downs. Kipling lived and worked in the Open Downs and wrote books which are enjoyed worldwide. The wild beauty of the rolling open Downs has been captured by these artists for generations. This has made the Sussex Downs a landscape which visitors from all round the world seek to enjoy, coming to the UK specifically to visit and to spend time experiencing. This Sussex downs landscape is highly valued for it continues to inspire artists and appears in artworks world wide. Landscape character is a continuum and does not stop or start suddenly at geographical boundaries. Landscape character of this site thus continues from the South Downs National Park to the landscape assessed, both being Open Downs by landscape character. South Downs National Park status recognises the  pedigree of this landscape; its high scenic quality and its associations. This National Park status seeks to safeguard the landscape. In writing the landscape assessment Landvision has helped in protecting the South Downs National Park. To conserve this very special and inspiring landscape for future generations to enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *