Bohnet, I: Exploring Landscape Character
A Socio-Ecological Analysis in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The concept of landscape character in creating local distinctiveness has long been recognised in the UK. It is only recently, however, that the concept has come to define a research agenda looking at both the causes and consequences of landscape change. In this research, a transdisciplinary approach was used to investigate the character and qualities of two agricultural landscapes and to understand past and future change. Through farm-based assessments, landscape character was analysed in terms of landscape coherences. Semi-structured interviews with farmers' enabled these coherences to be related to farmers' activities and management motives. 'Leitbilder' were developed at the local and farm level and the link between farm and locality explored. A clear link was found between farmers' attitudes towards landscape and the contribution of their farms to the local landscape. The 'Leitbild' approach elaborated in this research offers new opportunities for agricultural policy development and future landscape planning.
Dr Iris C. Bohnet studied landscape planning at the Applied University Nürtingen in Germany and earned her PhD in 2002 from Imperial College, University of London. She is a Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Cairns, Australia and an Adjunct Lecturer at James Cook University.