Devon’s landscape

An photo taken looking across Dartmoor with Tors in the ForegroundThe quality and character of Devon’s landscape has long been recognised as one of the county’s most important assets, and is the reason why many people choose to visit and to live here.

Devon’s complex geology has created a striking diversity of landscapes including windswept high moors of Dartmoor and Exmoor, heathlands, secluded valleys, rugged coastlines, sweeping bays and rolling farmland.

The importance of these landscapes is reflected by 35% of Devon being covered by a landscape designation.  We have two National Parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor) and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Blackdown Hills, East Devon, North Devon, South Devon and Tamar Valley).

Devon’s landscape character assessment describes the variations in character between different areas and types of landscape in the county. It provides an evidence base for local development frameworks and plans, articulating what people perceive as distinctive and special about all landscapes in Devon. It also sets out strategies and guidelines for the protection, management and planning of the landscape.

Devon Landscape Policy Group is an informal partnership consisting of officers from planning authorities and land management organisations.  It facilitates joint working on landscape planning and management issues that have implications across administrative boundaries.

Useful resources

For more information on Devon’s landscapes, including Landscape Character Assessment, visit Devon County Council’s landscape pages.

Find out more about National Character Areas, which divide England into 159 distinct natural areas, each defined by a unique combination of landscape, biodiversity, geodiversity, history, and cultural and economic activity.

Read about Devon’s landscape in Devon’s state of environment report 2018.