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What is landscape?

Landscape is more than just 'the view'. It can be the ever-changing backdrop to our daily lives, as much as the places we seek out for leisure. It can mean a park, a piece of wasteland, a beach, a mountain, a forest. It is also about how people relate to these places and to nature - what they value about it, and how they respond to changes in the landscape.

In Scotland, some landscapes, such as the high summits of the Cairngorm Mountains, consist entirely of natural elements. These can be called 'natural landscapes'.

Other landscapes can be largely the result of human activity, such as arable farmland or urban areas. These can be referred to as 'cultural landscapes.'

More often, though, our landscapes are a mix of natural and cultural elements, giving rise to the European Landscape Convention's definition of landscape:

  • 'An area as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction or natural and/or human factors.'

This interaction has given rise to the great variety of landscapes that are found in Scotland today. See Landscape Character Assessment to see how this variety has been described and mapped.

Last updated on Monday 14th December 2015 at 14:39 PM. Click here to comment on this page