The Landscape Character Assessment (LCA database for the UK and Ireland is now available.
The database, developed by the Landscape Institute (LI) with the support of Natural England, NatureScot, Natural Resources Wales, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and DAERA Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), includes over 500 LCAs from local to regional scale across the UK and Ireland.
It is designed to offer “a single resource for the landscape profession”, providing “a starting point for the sector”.
The database includes information such as the scale of assessment, publishing authority, author, format of data and date of last update and is organised into the various Landscape Institute branch regions. The database captures published Landscape Character Assessments at all levels from local, sometimes associated with a Neighbourhood Development Plan, through to regional.
The LI said the database will need to “reflect regular updates to landscape character assessments and movement on the host authority websites”. There are said to be aspirations to create a collated visual resource with all the assessment data on a map.
“Your feedback and updates are critical for the success of this database, so please find below a response feedback form to make us aware if you identify broken links and/or new landscape character assessments to be added,” stated the LI. “We would also like to hear from you if you or your practice has digitised the data yourself or have acquired it if not publicly available. Information and any other thoughts would be useful for the next stage of the project.”
Sue Morgan, Chief Executive of the LI, said, “I’m proud that the Landscape Institute is part of this cross-sector partnership. As designers, we seek to transform the world for the better. But to do this, we must have accurate and current information to better understand and represent the communities we serve. We know that there are longstanding issues and gaps in our knowledge, and by pooling our collective resources and intelligence, as well as standardising our approach to gathering information, we will be able to put this data to best use – addressing systemic barriers and ultimately bringing about real, positive change.”
Natural England added, “We are delighted that the LCA catalogue has been published. The publication is the culmination of the significant effort by the Landscape Institute volunteers, which pulls together a vast range of landscape evidence at multiple scales across England and the rest of the UK. In addition to its uses in landscape planning and decision-making, our landscapes increasingly need to respond to the climate and biodiversity crises through a multiplicity of approaches. The catalogue provides a single, easy-to-access baseline resource to assist landscape professionals and anyone else who is involved in landscape change in these important tasks.”