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Landscape Units

At a national level, the English landscape is divided into National Character Areas (as defined by Natural England). In Worcestershire we have refined these to the slightly smaller Regional Character Areas, to better reflect some of the broad variations discernible in the county's landscape that weren't accounted for in some of the much larger national units.

At a county level, the Worcestershire landscape is further broken down into Landscape Description Units (LDUs). These are a representation of a Landscape Type in a specific location. LDUs are the building blocks of the LCA and are determined by analysing maps of geology, topography, soils, tree cover character, land use and settlement pattern.

Nesting within LDUs are the smallest units of landscape character – Land Cover Parcels (LCPs). These describe any local variation that is present and visually apparent within the larger LDUs, such as minor variations in land use and the historic patterns of field enclosure. Within LCPs the landscape is a visual entirety and they are totally homogenous with respect to landscape attributes. LCPs can vary considerably in size from maybe a few fields to larger areas where there is less diversity in landscape character.

The process of LCA identifies commonalities in landscapes, recognising repeating patterns of natural and cultural attributes that reflect how geographically separate areas have evolved in a similar way. This information allows these areas – LDUs and by default the LCPs that nest within them – to be classified into Landscape Types.

Unlike the landscape units described above, which are all unique and describe specific areas, Landscape Types are generic and may occur anywhere in the country where the same combinations of physical and cultural landscape attributes occur. For example, the Riverside Meadows Landscape Type occurs along the length of the Severn and Teme in Worcestershire but also the Wye and Lugg in Herefordshire; the High Hills and Slopes Landscape Type is seen in the Malvern Hills and also in the Black Mountains on the Welsh border.

The way in which these landscape units and types sit together in a mapped hierarchy is illustrated below.


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This page was last reviewed 31 January 2014 at 12:29.
The page is next due for review 30 July 2015.