User Guide

What is landscape character?

Dale at Weybread, Suffolk © Geo East

Put simply, landscape character is that which makes an area unique.

Natural aspects of landscape character

Chalk scoured clean by tide after full moon. © Copyright R Yeomans. 2010 (Geo-East photo gallery)

Natural aspects of landscape character include geodiversity and biodiversity.

Cultural aspects of landscape character

© Countryside Agency - Photographer David Burton

Cultural aspects of landscape include the historical and current impact of land use, settlement, enclosure and other human activity.

Perceptual aspects of landscape character

Country Lane in Norfolk © Copyright Michael Cannell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

People's perceptions have a key role to play in defining a landscape. Such perceptions are affected by demographic and temporal factors.

What is Landscape Character Assessment?

Stages of Landscape Character Assessment

Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is the tool that is used to help us to understand, and articulate, the character of the landscape.

Landscape Character Assessment Guidance


The Landscape Character Assessment Guidance, published by Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage, provides advice on how to identify and express the different elements, which give a place its unique character.

How can Landscape Character Assessment be used?

Suffolk Landscape Character Assessment

Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) can serve as a framework for decision-making that respects local distinctiveness.