Conserving the Historic Landscape

Historic Fingerpost The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB is interested in understanding the landscape scale impact of past human activity in its landscape, and the way this contributes to natural beauty.

It has produced Historic Environment Action Plans for the whole of the AONB landscape. These summarise the key characteristics of the historic environment and identify proactive actions to conserve and enhance these special characteristics.

It has created an AONB wide Historic Landscape Characterisation. This maps, records and describes the historic landscape character of the present day landscape and also identifies where previous land uses are fossilised in the landscape.

The AONB has also created a pilot Historic Routeways Characterisation, focusing on the lanes, tracks and roads of the AONB.

These projects were funded by English Heritage. The Historic Environment Action Plans are designed to be a national best practice exemplar for other protected areas (AONBs and National Parks). There is therefore a special section devoted to methodology and guidance aimed particularly at people from protected landscapes.

The relevance of these evidence bases to planning can also be explored.