The North Yorkshire and York Landscape character assessment provides a reference document for everyone interested in the sustainable management of the countryside, coast and settlements and is intended as a planning and land management tool.
Landscape character assessment is a way of describing and understanding landscape and the influences that have helped to shape it. The European landscape convention emphasises all landscapes are of value, not just the 'best' bits, and 'an accessible and integrated approach is needed to shaping and managing landscape change'.
North Yorkshire and York's landscape character
Explore North Yorkshire and York's landscape character in the following reports:
- North Yorkshire and York landscape character assessment report (pdf / 4 MB)
- Maps showing study area geology landform drainage (pdf / 6 MB)
- Maps showing land cover (pdf / 15 MB)
- Maps showing broad historic types (pdf / 3 MB)
- Map showing North Yorkshire and York landscape classification (pdf / 596 KB)
- Maps showing relationship of LCA to National Character Areas (pdf / 1 MB)
- Maps showing relationship of LCA to National Park, AONB and District assessments (pdf / 2 MB)
You can also explore the landscape character on a map
Landscape change and evolution
Retaining character and managing landscape change
North Yorkshire is blessed with an abundance of scenic and beautiful landscapes which are nationally designated. Over many years, the county council, the National Park Authorities and the managers of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been committed to successfully retaining their special qualities. The City of York and many North Yorkshire townscapes are also nationally valued.
The pace and scale of landscape change will continue in the future. The North Yorkshire and York landscape character assessment can support action to manage and direct change in a positive way through better understanding of local landscapes and the forces that influence them.
Evolution of the landscape
The present day landscapes of North Yorkshire and York are a product of the physical and human influences that have shaped their basic structure and appearance. In particular, the underlying geology and the processes of erosion and deposition by ice and water have had a profound effect, influencing not only landform, soils and vegetation communities, but also the human activities dependent upon or affected by them.
In turn, human activity has been superimposed on the foundations of the natural landscape, changing natural vegetation patterns to suit human needs and introducing man-made elements into the landscape, a process that has increased greatly in recent times.