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Landscape Character

From the whale-backed chalk hills of the Downs to the sandstone ridges of the High Weald, the undulating clay vale of the Low Weald and remote levels at Rye and Pevensey, the East Sussex landscape is varied and unique.

A Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) provides a detailed look at local landscapes and townscapes, their unique sense of place and the pressures for change which may affect this. It identifies features such as woodlands, farmlands and building styles and can be used when making decisions about how to manage the landscape, including:

  • landscape protection, conservation and enhancement
  • information for communities to inform neighbourhood or parish plans and village design statements
  • planning policy and development control
  • landscape Management plans

Download the

Local and national landscape character

Our LCA sits alongside other local assessments, to provide a strategic overview for East Sussex.  See,

England has been divided into areas which share similar landscape characteristics, called National Character Areas. These provide the background information for more detailed Landscape Character Assessments. See,

Contact us

For further information contact our County Landscape Architect:


Download – East Sussex Landscape Character Assessment

Our Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) was updated in 2016.

Our LCA sits alongside other local assessments, to provide a strategic overview for East Sussex. See,

England has been divided into areas which share similar landscape characteristics, called National Character Areas. These provide the background information for more detailed Landscape Character Assessments. See,

The following links will open documents relating to all of the Landscape Character Areas of East Sussex.

Please note: we know that some of these files might not be suitable for users of assistive technology. 

Therefore if you need a file in an accessible format, please contact us. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use. We will then contact you about the next step.

Introduction to the 2016 East Sussex Landscape Character Assessment [61.8 KB] [pdf]

Index map of the Landscape Areas [833.5 KB] [pdf]

Introduction to the High Weald [41.2 KB] [pdf]

1. Upper Medway Valley [5.2 MB] [pdf]

2. Ashdown Forest and surrounds [4.7 MB] [pdf]

3. Upper Ouse Valley [3.3 MB] [pdf]

4. Central High Weald [1.7 MB] [pdf]

5. South Slopes of The High Weald [1.4 MB] [pdf]

6. Upper Rother Valley [5.7 MB] [pdf]

7. Bewl Water Area [2.7 MB] [pdf]

8. The Dudwell Valley [3.6 MB] [pdf]

9. The Darwell Valley [1.9 MB] [pdf]

10. Combe Haven [2.7 MB] [pdf]

11. Brede Valley [1.4 MB] [pdf]

12. High Weald Coast [967.7 KB] [pdf]

13. Lower Rother Valley [4.7 MB] [pdf]

Introduction to the Low Weald [38.5 KB] [pdf]

14. Western Low Weald [1.3 MB] [pdf]

15. Eastern Low Weald [1.1 MB] [pdf]

Area 16 (Brighton & Hove Downland Fringe) is omitted as Brighton & Hove are not in East Sussex. The South Downs National Park Integrated Landscape Character Assessment includes areas 17 to 23 (see LCA index map), and can be found on the website of the Authority’s Landscape - South Down National Park.

Introduction to The Levels [36.6 KB] [pdf]

24. Eastbourne Levels [1.6 MB] [pdf]

25. Pevensey Levels [1.0 MB] [pdf]

26. Rye Winchelsea Area( [1.1 MB] [pdf]

As well as rural areas, the East Sussex LCA takes into account several urban areas, these are:

28 to 31. Peacehaven and Saltdean, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings [13.6 MB] [pdf]

32–34. Seaford, Lewes, Newhaven [683.9 KB] [pdf]

35–37. Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowborough [785.0 KB] [pdf]

38–40. Heathfield, Rye, Battle [691.6 KB] [pdf]

Our LCA sits alongside other local assessments and Natural England’s National Assessment:

For further information contact our County Landscape Architect: