ARCHIVE: Observatory monitoring framework – indicator data sheet
Environmental impact: Landscape
Indicator DF3: Landscape change
Landscape quality is key to the public enjoyment of the countryside. Information on landscape allows assessment of the impact of agricultural change on the landscape. This could affect the use of the countryside for leisure and tourism activities, with associated impacts on the local economies of rural areas.
The Countryside Quality Counts (CQC) study provides evidence about the way the English countryside is changing. The CQC study made the first assessment of change for the period 1990 to 1998 which was published in 2004. The second and current assessment, published in 2007, looks at changes between 1999 and 2003.Map DF3a
Agricultural landscape change
Map DF3a shows the effect of agricultural changes to the landscape between 1999 and 2003.
Maintained : The present mix of cover and holding types were consistent with the profile and had not changed substantially since 1990.
Neglected: Trends since 1999 had not reversed past losses and the JCA remained in a condition that was at variance with the desired character of the area.
Enhancing: The present trends in cover and holding types were re-establishing a pattern that had previously been lost or eroded.
Diverging: Trends since 1999 continue to transform the character of the area.
64% of Joint Character Areas (JCAs) show patterns of change consistent with maintaining or enhancing landscape character. There are also a substantial number of JCAs that were classified as neglected or diverging, showing no signs of reversal of past losses, or where change continued to transform the character of the area. The areas classified as neglected or diverging tend to be concentrated in central and southern England.Map DF3b
Boundary feature change
Map DF3b shows the effect of boundary feature changes to the landscape between 1999 and 2003.
Maintained: The present stock of boundaries was intact and coverage of the CS and/or ESA agreements was high.
Neglected: Boundary loss had occurred or poor boundary management was an issue, and coverage of CS and/or ESA agreements was low.
Enhancing: Boundary loss had occurred or poor boundary management was an issue, and coverage of CS and/or ESA agreements was high.
Diverging: Boundary loss had occurred or poor boundary management was an issue, and coverage of CS and/or ESA agreements was lacking or inconsistent with the visions implied by the profile.
64% of JCAs were assigned to the neglected category because the evidence suggested that the character of boundary features has been eroded in the past and that uptake of agreements to restore or manage features was limited in comparison to the total stock of features within the area. There are some JCAs where the character of boundaries appears to have been maintained or enhanced; the North West and the areas of Eastern England around the Wash stand out as a major block of JCAs where the quality of the resource appears to have been sustained.
This indicator was updated in August 2007. The next update will show changes between 2004 and 2009.
Further information and contact
Background information can be found in the accompanying fact sheet.
For further queries or information on this indicator contact Defra's Observatory team on +44 (0) 1904 455229, email: email@example.com
Page last modified: 10 November, 2010
Page published: June, 2007