Cumbria has some of the finest landscapes in England. These are valued nationally, regionally and locally. Our landscapes have great contrast and diversity. They range from the unique 'scenic' landscapes of the lakes, to dramatic moorland, gentle lowlands, valleys and coastal plains.

Much of the landscape character is influenced by the underlying geology, glaciation and human activity. Together, these have shaped the countryside scenery and created the landscapes we value and enjoy today.  

Landscapes are by nature dynamic. They have changed throughout the centuries and will continue to change. Policies and guidance seek to manage change and leave distinctive and high quality landscapes for future generations to benefit from.  

We work with the local authorities, including the National Park Authorities, and many other groups and organisations to ensure we know:

  • what makes our landscapes distinctive
  • why our landscapes are important
  • how we can manage and enhance their features
  • how new development can respect the landscape quality

The Cumbria Landscape Character Guidance and Toolkit helps us to do this. It has been developed in partnership with the Cumbrian local planning authorities and supports landscape character policy in the emerging Local Development Frameworks. It replaces previous Cumbria wide landscape documents and complements landscape documents for the National Parks and AONBs.

It comprises two parts:

Part 1 - maps and describes the landscape character, sets a vision for how it will look in the future and provides guidelines to help manage change, restoration and enhancement of landscape features. 

Part 2 - provides guidance to encourage more detailed landscape character assessments to be developed in Cumbria. 

For more details download the toolkit below or search on Find My Nearest and Landscape Character.