Changing conceptualisation of landscape in English landscape assessment methods


  • L.H. Jensen


Landscape Character Assessment is a method that has gained prominence in England within the last 10 years. It has developed from earlier methods of landscape evaluation and Landscape Assessment. This chapter analyses the changing conceptualization of landscape between those methods, all, in some way or another, related to the government agency concerned with the countryside in England, the Countryside Commission/Agency. It illustrates how the methods, although following wider conservation debates, have strong links with the changing institutional remit of the Countryside Commission/Agency and it shows how the recent focus on landscape as being about ‘people and place’ brings socio-economic aspects into the heart of landscape assessment. The current landscape assessment method Landscape Character Assessment is broad in its application, which allows disparate issues to be brought together within a landscape framework. This framework has also been adopted by other government institutions such as English Nature and English Heritage, which both advocate an approach similar to the Countryside Agency emphasizing the role of landscape within a sustainable-development context. However, as this chapter also illustrates, although the landscape framework adopted is similar, each agency deals with it slightly differently reflecting the different remits of the agencies