East Durham Limestone Plateau Strategy
The strategy proposed for the East Durham Plateau is to enhance the landscape where it has been most affected by mining, quarrying and industrial development while conserving and restoring those local landscapes which contribute most to its quality and distinctiveness – the coast, the limestone denes, the escarpment spurs and vales and the older meadows and pastures of the plateau. A key component of the strategy for this settled landscape is the improvement of the countryside around towns and villages.
- ED1 To improve the urban and urban fringe environment of former mining settlements.
- ED2 To maintain and strengthen the rural character of the landscape between towns and villages.
- ED3 To conserve the character of historic villages, older village cores and town centres.
- ED4 To conserve, enhance and restore characteristic features of the landscape – old species rich limestone and neutral grasslands, field ponds, heugh and dene ash woods, old hedgerows, limestone walls and abandoned limestone quarries.
- ED5 To conserve relic landscapes and landscape features – particularly those of the coal, steel and railway industries, historic parklands, and relics of the medieval landscape such as rigg and furrow and deserted villages.
- ED6 To restore and manage the coastal landscape, creating new maritime grasslands and scrub.
- ED7 To encourage integrated farm management and uptake of Environmental Stewardship.
- ED8To enhance the management of arable land by creating buffers to hedgerows, trees, wetlands and watercourses, and particularly in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.
- ED9 To improve the management of hedgerows by reducing the frequency of trimming.
- ED10 To encourage enhanced management of land used for equestrian activities.
- ED11 To increase woodland cover, particularly in the urban fringe and major transport corridors.
- ED12 To create new native ash and oak woodlands and particularly where they would contribute to wildlife goals – for example by extending or linking isolated ancient woods on the escarpment and in coastal denes. Create new wet woodlands on poorly drained land of the Clay plateau.
- ED13 To encourage good practice in woodland management to improve the landscape, wildlife and amenity benefit of existing woods.
- ED14 To maintain the stock of hedgerow and parkland trees by conserving veteran trees and planting or tagging new hedgerow trees.
- ED15 To restore derelict land and improve the landscape of reclaimed land by planting native woodlands and hedgerows and creating species rich grasslands.
- ED16 To restore mineral workings in a way that reduces their impact on the landscape and enhances biodiversity – for example by creating new ash woods, limestone grasslands and wetlands on low fertility substrates.
- ED17 To encourage the creation of new wetland habitats and particularly ponds.
- ED18 To maintain and increase access to the countryside around towns and villages, and particularly circular neighbourhood walks and long distance paths.
- ED19 To create accessible natural green space close to towns and villages.
- ED20 To reduce traffic on country lanes and create new safe routes or ‘greenways’ for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders between towns and villages.
- ED21 To encourage the conservation and appropriate management of roadside verges
- ED22 To ensure that new development is in keeping with the character of its surroundings and contributes positively to the strategy for the area.
- ED23 To protect the topography of the escarpment from the impacts of quarrying and reduce the visual impacts of working quarries – for example through off-site planting.
- ED24 To secure the management of abandoned mineral workings and other sites of nature conservation importance.
- ED25 To encourage sustainable forms of farm diversification that respect and enhance character of local landscape and bring benefits to local communities.
- ED26 To encourage improvements to the environment of industrial sites and positive management of vacant industrial land.
- ED27 To ensure that the scale and form of wind energy development is compatible with the character of the local landscape.
- ED28 To encourage and promote greater involvement of local communities in decision making about neighbourhood landscapes.
The spatial strategy for the North Pennines has been derived from an analysis of Local Landscapes Types, and informed by the objectives and strategy options identified for the East Durham Limestone Plateau County Character Area.
Each Landscape Description Unit (LDU) has been assigned with one of six strategies: Conserve, Conserve and enhance, Conserve and restore, Restore, Restore or enhance, or Enhance. For further information on the how the spatial strategy was devived visit the methodology page.
The spatial strategy for the East Durham Limestone Plateau can be downloaded as a table in pdf format.
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 conserve, conserve and restore and conserve and enhance are identified as Landscape Improvement Areas.