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North Pennines Strategy

The strategy proposed for the North Pennines is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape.


  • NP1 To protect the wildness, tranquillity and 'naturalness' of moorland landscapes.
  • NP2 To maintain the rural character of the dales.
  • NP3 To maintain and restore the traditional character of villages and hamlets.
  • NP4 To conserve and restore heather moorlands, blanket bog and juniper woods.
  • NP5 To conserve and enhance the management of semi-natural woodlands, and particularly those of daleside gills and dale floor gorges.
  • NP6 To reintroduce 'natural' or low intervention conditions to semi-natural habitats where possible.
  • NP7 To maintain or restore the traditional management of species-rich hay meadows and pastures, dry stonewalls and hedgerows.
  • NP8 To encourage integrated farm management and uptake of Environmental Stewardship.
  • NP9 To conserve relic landscapes and landscape features - particularly those of Bronze Age ritual landscapes and cairn-fields, medieval agriculture, lead mining and other mineral workings.
  • NP10 To restore ancient semi-natural woods where they have been affected by restocking.
  • NP11 To create new native woodlands where they would strengthen landscape character and enhance biodiversity, and particularly where they would extend or link existing semi-natural woods.
  • NP12 To restructure commercial plantations to improve their relationship with the surrounding landscape, to restore damaged habitats and archaeological features and to increase their biodiversity.
  • NP13 To encourage good practice in woodland management to improve the landscape, wildlife and amenity benefit of existing woodland.
  • NP14 To promote the restoration of river and stream bank and floodplain vegetation and particularly wet woodland
  • NP15 To maintain the stock of hedgerow and parkland trees by conserving veteran trees and planting or tagging new hedgerow trees
  • NP16 To positively manage increased access to open moorland to minimise impacts on the landscape and its biodiversity.
  • NP17 To promote the development of quiet lanes and to ensure that highway improvement works respect the rural and historic character of minor roads and lanes.
  • NP18 To encourage conservation and appropriate management of roadside verges.
  • NP19 To improve the appearance of quarries and restoring them in a way that complements and enhances the character of the local landscape.
  • NP20 To improve the appearance of reservoirs and water supply infrastructure - for example through the planting of native woodlands where appropriate.
  • NP21 To ensure that new development is in keeping with the character of its surroundings and contributes to the strategy for the area.
  • NP22 To encourage sustainable forms of farm diversification that respects character of local landscape and bring benefits to local communities.
  • NP23 To encourage and promote greater involvement of local communities in decision making about neighbourhood landscapes

Spatial Strategy

The spatial strategy for the North Pennines has been derived from an analysis of Local Landscape Types, and informed by the objectives and strategy options identified for the North Pennines County Character Area.

Each Landscape Description Unit (LDU) has been assigned with one of six strategies: ConserveConserve and enhance, Conserve and restoreRestoreRestore or enhance, or Enhance. For further information on the how the spatial strategy was devived visit the methodology page.

The spatial strategy for the North Pennines can be downloaded as a table in pdf format.

North Pennines Spatial Strategy by Local Landscape Type (PDF, 20kb)

Alternatively view an interactive map of the Spatial Strategy for County Durham

Landscape Conservation and Improvement Priority Areas

Spatial Strategies can also be used to identify broader Landscape Conservation Priority Areas and Landscape Improvement Priority Areas. Those landscapes with strategies of conserveconserve and restore and conserve and enhance are identified as Landscape Improvement Areas.

View interactive map of Conservation and Improvement Priority Areas

Further Information