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Landscape Character Types
Wooded Hills and Ridges
This is a varied and textured landscape characterised by undulating hills and steep ridges, which are cloaked in woodland, with clearings of arable farmland and pasture.
Located in the south of the East of England in Essex and Hertfordshire.
Undulating land, often steeply sloping, with distinctive ridges and narrow plateau summits.
Natural / water features:
Minor streams drain the hills and feed into adjacent river valleys/low lying landscapes.
Vegetation and land use
A combination of heavy, gleyed soils supports a high cover of ancient deciduous woodland. Survival of Ancient Woodland is relatively high, much of which is found in large blocks and protected by designated sites (>1%).
Primary land use :
Mixed farming (pasture and arable) between extensive areas of woodland. Some peri-urban land uses including horse grazing, golf courses and country parks.
Frequent, often large ancient woodlands, in places associated with parkland.
Small to medium sized parklands and relic commons. Historic churches in settlements act as local landmarks.
Field pattern is generally irregular and sinuous. Areas that have been extensively modified through field reorganisation tend to have a more regular pattern.
Settlement is densely dispersed, with many linear clusters along roadsides. The influence of towns (both new developments and vastly expanded historic settlements) are also a feature within this landscape.
To be completed at a later date.
Historic development :
Historically this landscape has comprised a mixture of wooded areas and fields, many of which are likely to have been created by assarting. Fieldscapes tend to be dominated by early enclosures, with significant areas of co-axial fields.
The hilltops and lanes are relatively tranquil, however near to settlements and road infrastructure tranquillity reduces considerably.
Enclosed character due to woodland cover and mature hedgerows. Where there are breaks in the woodland cover the elevated nature of these hills and ridges affords long distance views.