This local seascape character assessment covered the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and adjoining territorial waters upto 12 nautical miles offshore plus areas of Milford Haven outside the Park. The aim of the project was to act as a pilot study to develop a detailed seascape method and report which could be used as a baseline character assessment informing marine planning within the context of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
The multidisciplinary team developed a method building on current UK guidance, a detailed client brief and previous seascape studies undertaken by the practice dating back to 2000. Completed in 2013 it was the first local seascape study of its kind in Wales (and the UK as far as we know). There was an emphasis on the important relationship between the designated coast and its seascape setting although wholly marine areas away from the coast were also covered.
Cutting through the plethora of marine datasets available, the team developed a simple but rigorous method to defining marine seascape types using three defining physical characteristics. These form the basis for defining seascape character areas which are described in detail in terms of physical and cultural influences, and perceptual qualities. Importantly, the study then identifies forces for change and key sensitivities.
The study was carried out to a very tight timescale of 5 months in the winter which provided challenges given its ground breaking approach and the need for site verification. Nevertheless, it has subsequently been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance and is used in conjunction with the terrestrial landscape character assessments.
Approximate Map Location
Pembrokeshire Coast and associated territorial waters
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales.
|Type of scheme|
Strategic landscape planning, local landscape planning, marine planning
Strategic landscape planning, Strategic landscape planning: coast
The purpose of this project is to produce a study of local seascape character, to identify what is distinctive and special about different areas of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and sea areas visible from it; to outline their sensitivities; to describe possible risks to their character (including, but not limited to, those arising from development) and provide a set of strategic management prescriptions for each.
White Consultants- lead consultant, coordination, main author, seascape assessment (Simon White, Simon Michaels);
Cardiff University- geomorphology/coastal processes interpretation, GIS and mapping (Lesley Cherns, Alan Rogers);
Govannon- cultural heritage interpretation (David Gwyn);
Mariteam Associates- marine and coastal tourism and uses (David Reed)
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Report and other project outputs are available from: