Natural England commissioned extensive qualitative social research to provide baseline evidence of the cultural services and experiential qualities that landscapes provide.
It is generally recognised that England’s landscapes provide a range of ‘services’ which contribute to people’s quality of life, including spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation and aesthetic enjoyment.
A key aim was to understand whether such services correlate to particular landscape characteristics or particular landscape features.
The detailed objectives for the study were to:
- Establish and refine evidence from national/regional public surveys and research through more focused work with the public in a selection of England’s National Character Areas.
- Make judgements about whether and how the findings correlate to particular landscape characteristics and relate to particular landscape features.
- Make recommendations on whether the outcomes could provide a sufficiently representative baseline that could be used either at national, regional or a National Character Area scale.
- Provide qualitative material that will aid in the updating of National Character Area descriptions and associated strategic objectives for the future.
This report sets out the findings of the second phase of this research project (the findings of the first phase are set out in Natural England Commissioned Report NECR024). This report sets out the research findings in an additional six National Character Areas featuring different landscape characteristics to those considered under the first phase but using the same methodology. The findings are integrated and compared with those from the first phase. Based upon the qualitative findings from both phases, a framework and process to help make judgements about the type and nature of cultural services and experiential qualities relating to different landscape characteristics and features is proposed.