More than 60 organisations and individuals have signed an open letter to UK and devolved governments urging them to reaffirm commitment to the ELC.

London Wetland Centre
London Wetland Centre – main lake at dawn. Image courtesy of Natural England

Landscape is vitally important and must be taken into account in key government policies, according to a powerful letter to legislators from a group of more than 60 organisations and individuals.

The alliance, which includes leading landscape architects, has urged the UK and devolved governments to renew commitment to the European Landscape Convention (ELC), saying: “Landscape is more than just scenery: it is the interaction between people and place; the bedrock upon which our society is built.”

The group wants clear signs that all new legislation, policy and guidance is being monitored to make sure it complies with the convention.

They also ask that the principles laid out in the ELC should be “central” in the forthcoming Natural Environment White Paper in England and equivalent measures in the devolved areas.

Neil Sinden, Director of Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “Landscapes shape all of us and we shape our landscapes. This relationship has given us some of the most beautiful, distinctive and diverse urban and rural landscapes in the world. It’s not for sentimental reasons that we should work to protect and enhance this beauty and diversity. It has great social, cultural and economic, as well as environmental value.”

The letter was sent to politicians including David Cameron, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries.

He made encouraging comments in November at the UK Landscape Conference, when he said: “All landscapes matter for the health, wealth and well-being of society.”

The ELC commits the UK and devolved governments to take landscape into account in environmental, planning and community policies.

For more information about the ELC visit their website.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here