Our understanding of landscape value is still evolving – particularly in light of the climate and biodiversity crises. A new guidance note details the LI’s current reflection on the subject of landscape value

River Findhorn, Strathdearn. Image: LUC

The landscape profession’s understanding of landscape value is still evolving – particularly in light of the climate and biodiversity emergencies. TGN 02-21: Assessing landscape value outside national designations is the LI’s current reflection on the subject of landscape value.

The phrase ‘valued landscapes’ first appeared in Paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in England in 2012. This prompted questions: What is a valued landscape? How do we identify them? Who should identify them? And is doing so compatible with the European Landscape Convention’s message that ‘all landscapes matter’?

After chairing a workshop on the topic at the LI’s Valuing Landscape Conference in 2018, Rebecca Knight (Chair of the TGN’s author group) invited a group of landscape professionals from across the UK in March 2020 to discuss it. During the meeting, it became clear that we needed to support LI members in interpreting the phrase valued landscapes’ in England’s NPPF, both in terms of plan making and development management. The group also acknowledged the need for a common understanding of landscape value across the whole of the UK. The meeting provided a springboard for the drafting of this document.

We’d like to thank members of the working group for their valuable inputs and constructive discussion, and the document’s authors – Rebecca Knight, Michelle Bolger, Kate Bailey and Jeremy Smith – for the expertise and patience they have put into the development of this document.

Read TGN 02-21 here.

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