England’s natural environment includes a wide range of landscapes that are formed by many factors, including the underlying soils, climate, habitats – and human influence, both past and present.
Our landscapes extend from the upland hills to the lowlands, through to the urban fringe, into the networks of green space in our cities, towns and villages, and on to our varied coastal seascapes.
England’s landscapes are valued by people for a variety of reasons and each is characterised by its own pattern of geology, landform, soils, vegetation, land use and human settlement, which create local distinctiveness.
Landscape is more than just 'the view'. It is about the complex, interacting natural and cultural systems that make up each landscape and it is also about the relationship between people, place and nature.
It is the ever-changing backdrop to our daily lives. It can mean a small patch of urban wasteland as much as a mountain range, and an urban park as much as a lowland plain.
Natural England is the Government’s statutory advisor on landscape, with specific responsibilities for the designation and management of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Amongst a wide range of activities in support of this role and in conserving and enhancing the local distinctiveness of England’s landscape, we are currently engaged in developing a landscape-based approach to developing an integrated framework across our landscape and biodiversity activities which reflects Defra’s ecosystem approach while still meeting our overarching statutory and international responsibilities. We also take a lead role on behalf of Defra in implementing the European Landscape Convention in England.
Our newly published Corporate Plan undertakes to focus on delivery with, and through, local communities. As part of this we will be encouraging and supporting broad landscape-scale partnerships across urban, rural, coastal and marine areas.
(20 December 2013) A new exhibition of spectacular photographs illustrating the wild beauty of all UK landscapes opened last week.
(22 November 2013) Natural England’s National Character Area (NCA) project was highly commended in London yesterday, having been shortlisted for one of the prestigious Landscape Institute Awards 2013.
(15 April 2013) This highly acclaimed photography competition is now open for entries and the search for this year’s winner is on. Take inspiration from our photo gallery of previous winners, showing this country’s landscapes at their best.
(27 March 2013) Following on from yesterday’s Nature Improvement Area (NIA) forum, Natural England is keeping the focus at a landscape scale as it hosts a conference on large-scale conservation at the Barnes Wetland Centre in London.
Since 2005 Ofgem, the gas and electricity regulator has granted electricity network operators a special allowance to replace overhead lines with underground cables in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks