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Gritstone Vale

Land Management

Natural Features, Watercourses and Wetlands

  • Protect the banks of rivers and streams from stock to encourage regeneration of riparian woodland.


  • Maintain and enhance semi-improved pastures by adopting appropriate stocking levels and avoiding improvements such as drainage, ploughing and reseeding.
  • Conserve species rich hay meadows - avoid ploughing and reseeding, herbicide and fertiliser applications. Time cutting and grazing regimes to promote flowering and seed setting.
  • Restore former meadows and restore diversity to improved pastures where possible by reseeding or the use of hay crops from local meadows as a seed source.
  • Establish uncultivated margins along hedgerows, woodland edges and watercourses. Avoid cultivation under the canopy of hedgerow trees.
  • Fence river and stream banks against livestock to prevent erosion and allow natural regeneration of river and streamside vegetation.

Trees, Woodlands and Forestry

  • Conserve and extend dene, ravine, and riverside woods.
  • Restore replanted ancient woodlands by felling and natural regeneration, or restocking with native species of local origins.
  • Plant new native oak, ash or alder woodlands in denes and ravines, along steep riverside bluffs, river banks and streamsides.
  • Plant new small and medium sized mixed or broadleaved farm woodlands, respecting field patterns, and avoiding sites of nature conservation or archaeological interest.
  • Increase the proportion of locally native species when restocking plantations.
  • Protect and maintain existing hedgerow and field trees. Plant new field boundary trees (ash, oak) or tag saplings to replace the maturing stock.

Cultural Features

  • Protect archaeological features including rigg and furrow from damaging activities such as cultivation, overstocking, or poaching.
  • Conserve and maintain traditional farm buildings.
  • Conserve and restore parklands, respecting designed elements and veteran trees.
  • Conserve and enhance old quarries by avoiding tipping and excluding livestock to promote natural regeneration. Maintain access to geological exposures.

Field Boundaries

  • Protect and maintain existing dry stone walls and hedgerows.
  • Reinstate hedges and walls where they have been replaced by fences - and particularly in areas of older enclosure.
  • Renovate overgrown gappy hedges by laying or coppicing and gapping up.
  • Allow trimmed hedges to grow higher and broader. Consider trimming every second or third year rather than annually.


Agricultural Buildings

  • Site new farm buildings close to existing buildings where possible, and reflect their scale, character and materials.
  • Reduce the impact of larger modern buildings by careful selection of colour, breaking up mass and planting screening belts of native species.

Housing and Economic Development

  • Protect and conserve the character of villages by ensuring that new development respects their scale, structure and vernacular character.
  • Retain open green spaces within villages, and particularly village greens, old gardens and orchards, and tofts or garths.

Energy, Telecommunications and Infrastructure

  • Site communications masts, pylons or domestic scale wind turbines close to existing buildings or woodland edges. Where possible bury cables underground.
  • Avoid 'urban' detailing in minor road works.

Minerals and Waste

  • Avoid damage to sensitive natural landforms.
  • Avoid breaching local skylines with extraction areas or storage mounds.
  • Restore quarry faces to naturalistic profiles using restoration blasting.
  • Restore quarries to semi-natural woodland, grassland, wetland and bare rock habitats using natural regeneration where appropriate.

Tourism and Recreation

  • Tourism and recreational development should be undertaken in such a way as to avoid any urbanising influence on the landscape. New buildings should, where possible, reflect the scale, form, materials and vernacular detailing of traditional farm buildings in the area.
  • Facilities like chalets and caravan parks should only be developed or extended where there is a high degree of year-round visual containment - either from the topography or robust woodland cover - so that they do not detract from the rural character and scenic quality of the area.
  • Golf course development should seek to conserve and reinforce landscape character by retaining mature landscape features and planting new native woodlands and parkland trees. Avoid prominent locations for built elements like buildings, driving ranges and ball-trap fencing. Develop species rich grassland in roughs to increase biodiversity.

Further Information

 Broad Landscape Types Guidelines