LUC has produced seascape character assessments (SCAs) at a national and regional scale, to underpin statutory marine planning.

Our first Seascape Assessment for the Marine Management Organisation, covering the south coast of England, was Highly Commended by the Landscape Institute.  Since then, we have completed SCAs for the remaining English marine plan areas, identifying areas of unique character across the marine and coastal environment.

LUC produced the national map of Marine Character Areas (MCAs), which is the seascape equivalent to Natural England’s ‘National Character Areas’ for landscape. We also developed a national classification for Wales’ inshore waters for Natural Resources Wales. This study presented evidence on seascape for the Welsh National Marine Plan, comprising detailed descriptions and an analysis of land-sea views for each of 29 distinct MCAs.

Additionally, LUC has pioneered approaches to SCA at the local scale, taking the principles of landscape character assessment to coastal and offshore areas. Our SCA for the Dover Strait, covering both English and French territorial waters and coastlines, provided evidence that was used to help inform decision-making and to explore the designation potential of the Strait.

Our award-winning Landscape, Seascape and Sensitivity Assessment for Plymouth was one of the first examples of a truly integrated landscape and seascape study in the UK, and has influenced policy and allocations in the emerging Local Plan. In Scotland we carried out a pilot coastal character assessment of Orkney and Caithness, again aimed at informing marine planning and decisions on coastal development.

The evidence provided helps ensure seascape is considered in marine and coastal planning. Our unique experience and independent standpoint means that we’re often called upon to advise on coastal and offshore developments.

View the South Marine Plan Area SCA

View the English Marine Plan Area SCAs

View the Wales study

More about our SCA work here

Services employed: Landscape Planning & Assessment

To speak to a specialist in Seascape Character Assessment please contact Sally Marshall