The Peak District National Park was Britain's first National Park. It is a treasured landscape that has been shaped by the long interaction of natural and cultural forces. The diverse landscape of the Peak District contrasts with surrounding adjoining industrial and urban landscapes, enriching the lives of everyone who visits and lives there.
The landscape also provides many other essential services to support life, including supplies of fresh water and storage of carbon, and economic activities, such as farming, tourism and mineral extraction.
The European Landscape Convention defines landscape as:
an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/ or human factors
The Peak District National Park contains an amazing variety of landscapes including broad open moorlands, more intimate enclosed farmlands and wooded valleys. The landscapes have been shaped by variations in geology and landform and the long settlement and use of these landscapes by people. Today's landscapes have a rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage and this diversity is enjoyed by local communities and visitors.
Landscape Character Assessment is a tool for identifying what makes one place different from another. It identifies what makes a place distinctive and does not assign value to particular landscapes. Landscape Character Assessment provides a framework for describing an area systematically, ensuring that judgements about future landscape change can be made based on knowledge of what is distinctive.
This study has gathered information from published maps and documents, completed a full field survey of the National Park and held a series of consultation workshops to gather the views of local communities. Formal consultation was carried out on the draft report and amendments made to the maps and text documents.
This report shows how the landscapes of the National Park and its surrounding area has been divided into a series of Regional Character Areas representing broad tracts of landscape which share common characteristics. Within each Regional Character Area a number of Landscape Character Types have been defined based upon the pattern of natural and cultural characteristics.
This document is the first stage of an ongoing project. The coming year will see the development of a landscape strategy and action plan for the Peak District National Park. The landscape strategy will build on an analysis of condition and forces for change in the landscape and further consultation with stakeholders.
The Landscape Character Assessment establishes a baseline audit of the current character of the landscape and provides a framework for the measurement of future landscape change. The assessment will also help to promote appreciation and understanding of the landscape of the National Park.
The landscape of each Character Area can be seen in detail on a high quality interactive map available below. A broadband internet connection is recommended to access the map.
Landscape Strategy and Action Plan
The Landscape Strategy and Action Plan for the Peak District National Park was published on 21 September 2009 after being available in draft format.
The final document has been broken into ten sections, which can be downloaded using the links below. Please note you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to be able to view the documents.
- Introduction (1.5MB)
- White Peak (3.6MB)
- Dark Peak (3.5MB)
- Dark Peak - Western fringe (2.9MB)
- Dark Peak - Yorkshire fringe (3.6MB)
- Dark Peak - Derbyshire Peak fringe (2.6MB)
- Derwent Valley (3.9MB)
- Eastern Moors (3.2MB)
- South West Peak (4.8MB)
- Action Plan (650KB)
- Complete Landscape Strategy & Action Plan (38MB)
Wooded Landscapes Plan
The Wooded Landscapes Plan for the Peak District was adopted on 3 December 2021, and provides guidance on opportunities for increasing tree and shrub cover in the Peak District, based on landscape character.
- Wooded Landscapes Plan (Final Draft - July 2022) (8.4MB) [text only version]