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The European Landscape Convention - Action Plans to Improve England’s Landscapes

Action Plans are an important component of the ELC “Framework for Implementation in England” which was agreed between Defra, English Heritage and Natural England in October 2007.

Defra’s Framework invites “others” to prepare their own Action Plans and it offers an organising structure for any organisation or group – whether government department, local authority, government agency, NGO or developers - that can help with this task.

As a first step, Natural England, English Heritage and the National Forest Company produced Action Plans. These have now been followed by Forestry Commission. These first Plans all strongly emphasise the diversity of landscape and of approaches to managing it. They also demonstrate how their aesthetic, cultural, historic and ecological dimensions are valued, looked after and considered as a whole. They reflect the aims of the Framework and we hope that these first Plans can stand as models and encouragement for others.

  • The Natural England ELC Action Plan 2009-2010 pdf (0.4MB)
  • The Natural England ELC Action Plan 2008-2009 pdf (0.5MB)
    Natural England has highlighted 30 actions to strengthen landscape protection, planning, management and enhancement. Natural England is striving to be a leader in the implementation of the ELC and in the development and implementation of landscape policy, in collaboration with partners across the UK and Europe. Development of the Action Plan has been in collaboration with Defra and the ICOMOS-UK/IUCN-UK Landscape Working Group. Natural England’s landscape activity spans the entire organisation, however the ELC Action Plan is the mechanism for monitoring cumulative progress, mapping achievements and banking the results of national and regional landscape and geodiversity work against a series of headings under which a ‘baseline’ position, a ‘what we want’ section as well as ‘in year actions’ are set out
  • The National Forest Company ELC Action Plan 2008-2013 pdf (0.5MB)
    The National Forest's creation, across 200 square miles of the English Midlands, has been rooted in a landscape-led approach since its inception in 1991. The National Forest Company's Action Plan demonstrates many of the ELC core principles - that all landscapes matter; respecting landscape character; taking a holistic approach to landscape planning, management and enhancement; connecting people with place - can be applied at a sub-regional level. It also highlights how a landscape-led approach can achieve wide-ranging environmental, economic and social sustainable development objectives, which also reflects the intent of the ELC.
  • The English Heritage ELC Action Plan 2008-2013 pdf (1.7MB)
    The English Heritage Action Plan – part of English Heritage's work for Government under its current programme – is designed to guide English Heritage's contribution to the further implementation of the European Landscape Convention, and to help to ensure that implementation at all levels of government captures the cultural and historical as well as the natural richness of landscape. The aim is to broaden awareness of landscape both within English Heritage and amongst its principal partners in local government.
  • Forestry Commission ELC Action Plan 2010-2015 pdf (0.3MB)
    Through this ELC action plan the Forestry Commission will have a better idea how well woodland landscapes are planned and protected on the land it manages on behalf of the public. The plan will also establish what needs to be done to improve policies, guidance and standards as well as improving practical knowledge and skills across the whole forestry sector. The plan aims to make sure that the role of trees in our important environmental and cultural landscapes are properly considered and that local people and communities are genuinely involved in decisions.

To view information about the ELC and the Action Plans on the Natural England website click here