Landscape Change Issues

The core premise against which Hampshire's historic landscape assessment has been developed is the recognition that landscape is dynamic and ever changing. The key policy issues are how present day society wishes to engage with and influence the direction and pace of future change in ways currently perceived to be desirable for maintaining links with the past in a way that protects local distinctiveness in the present environment, and enriches people's sense of place.

Historic landscape character is not really about the static survival of the countryside, but about characteristic patterns of change and important relics of past change. It is also about how the resultant pattern of physical features in the countryside vary considerably from one place to another because patterns and rates of change have greatly differed between areas.

1971 Aerial photograph of Hampshire 1991 Aerial photograph of Hampshire

Above an example of the rate of landscape change in Hampshire. The first picture dated 1971 shows denser woodlands and smaller fields as compared to the photograph of 1991.

Such patterns can be seen to reflect a complex combination of local or regional long- or short-term socio-economic factors, and varied underlying influences of geography, history and tradition. Understanding how places reflect different types and trajectories of change provides a framework for judging what kinds of change into the future are sustainable in terms of the long-term character of an area.

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