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Lowland River Terraces

Land Management

Natural Features, Watercourses and Wetlands

  • Protect and restore the natural character of watercourses and wetlands.
  • Restore natural conditions to floodplains where possible as part of integrated flood storage and landscape restoration schemes.
  • Fence rivers, streams and wetlands against livestock to prevent erosion and allow regeneration of bank-side vegetation.
  • Protect ponds from drainage or infilling. Restore former ponds and create new ponds on suitable sites.


  • Establish uncultivated margins along hedgerows, woodland edges and watercourses.
  • Avoid cultivation under the canopy of hedgerow and field trees.
  • Maintain and enhance semi-improved or wet pastures and meadows by adopting appropriate stocking levels or cutting regimes. Avoid improvements such as drainage, ploughing and reseeding. Limit the use of fertilisers and herbicides.
  • Restore diversity or wetness to improved pastures where possible - and particularly those of the floodplain and steeper bluffs.

Trees, Woodlands and Forestry

  • Protect and conserve the broadleaved woodlands of steep riverside bluffs, incised denes and river banks.
  • Extend existing woodlands through natural regeneration or planting with native species of local origins - oak woods on bluffs and river terraces, alder on river banks and streamsides and on wet or seasonally flooded haughs.
  • Protect and maintain existing hedgerow trees and tree lines. Plant new hedgerow trees (Ash, Common Oak) or tag saplings to replace the maturing stock. Plant new tree lines - (Alder, Crack Willow) on river, ditch and streamsides.

Field Boundaries

  • Protect and maintain hedgerows. Renovate overgrown and 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.
  • Reinstate hedges where they have been replaced by fences.

Cultural Features

  • Protect archaeological features including rigg and furrow from damaging activities such as cultivation, tree planting or poaching by stock.


Agricultural Buildings

  • Site new farm buildings close to existing buildings where possible, and reflect their scale, character and materials. Avoid steeply sloping sites.
  • 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

  • Maintain the rural character of the landscape generally by protecting it from significant new built 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.
  • Design any essential development so that it doesn't compromise the natural hydrology of the floodplain.

Energy, Telecommunications and Infrastructure

  • Site communications masts on buildings in urban areas where possible - or close to existing buildings, tree groups or woodland edges in the open countryside. Avoid prominent local skylines and particularly the edges of river terraces.
  • Avoid 'urban' detailing and street lighting on country roads.

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.

Further Information

Broad Landscape Types Guidelines