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Landscape Character Types
Settled Plateau Claylands
An expansive, elevated, gently rolling plateau landscape, with an ancient enclosure and settlement pattern.
Located in north Suffolk in an area stretching north-eastwards from Stowmarket to Halesworth, and in south Norfolk between Diss and Attleborough.
Gently rolling glacial plateau, dissected by small streams.
Natural / water features:
The edges of the plateau are dissected by streams and their tributaries, providing some topographic variation.
Vegetation and land use
A relatively uniform landscape characterised by arable farmland on heavy clay soils, with only occasional fragments of ancient woodland. Less that 0.5% of this LCT is semi-natural habitat and there are no designated sites.
Primary land use :
Arable land use.
Scattered hedgerow trees (oak and ash) and groups of trees around farmsteads, with occasional copses, often associated with ponds.
Historically characterised by large greens, many of which were enclosed late, leaving a residue of rectilinear fields and straight roads. There are also a large number of medieval moats throughout this landscape.
An ancient organic field pattern with many sinuous boundaries, strongly co-axial in the north east (South Elmhams and Ilketshalls) with many substantial mixed hedges, dominated in places with suckering elm.
Clustered pattern of hamlet-sized settlements, some centred on churches, others on greens (or former greens). Farmsteads are scattered throughout this landscape and many are moated. Few towns and little 20th century development.
Strong local vernacular tradition of timber-framed buildings, tiled roofs and some thatch. Also some 19th and 20th century brick buildings, especially in the linear hamlets and enclosed greens.
Historic development :
Historically, a landscape with large tracts of co-axial fields intermixed with other forms of early enclosure. Extensive changes to this pattern occurred from the mid 20th century onwards, resulting in the creation of areas of substantial boundary loss.
A settled and working arable landscape, yet one which is deeply rural. Tranquillity is often found in small valleys and away from main roads.
Open views of arable land with small clusters of trees and houses on the horizon, although in places, changes in slope sometimes allow views to be confined by hedges and trees.