The landscape and wildlife heritage of South
Staffordshire is rich and varied and it is an important objective
of the Local Plan to include policies which seek to conserve this
heritage for the future.
The protection of the countryside
has a wider significance as it provides opportunities for informal
recreation and leisure for the residents of the District and
It is also a key element in the
area’s ability to promote itself as an attractive place in which to
live and work, as well as to visit.
The predominant landscape structure
based upon a pattern of trees, hedgerows and small woods has
changed significantly over the centuries, although remnants of the
old structure still remain.
Many trees and hedgerows have been
removed by agricultural activity, and years of mineral extraction
and opencast mining of coal have eroded much of the small-scale
pattern of fields and woodlands in parts of the District.
Substantial areas of open heathland have given way to forestry and
The rapid development of
settlements since the Second World War has also affected the
character of the landscape. The high quality of the landscape
owes much to the planting associated with its historic parklands
and gardens and these are acknowledged as important features in the
landscape of the District.
Throughout the District there
remains strong demand for development and land use change for
housing, employment, recreation, leisure and tourism. There
is strong encouragement for farmers to diversify and to find other
uses for agricultural land and for the conversion and reuse of
redundant farm buildings.
The District is an important nature
conservation resource with notable areas of heathland, unimproved
grassland, ancient woodland, open water and linear features such as
rivers, streams and canals that support a wealth of wildlife.
However, within the last 25 years some habitats have been lost
including marshy grassland and flower-rich meadows and there has
been a decline in certain species such as water voles, brown hares
Wildlife habitats and other natural
features remain under threat from pollution, development and land
use change including agriculture, mineral extraction, motorways and
other built development. In recent years there has been a
change in emphasis in agriculture towards the conservation,
management and enhancement of the natural qualities of the
countryside. The public has also become more interested and
involved in nature conservation and appreciate the value of the
landscape and environment in general.
Landscape Planning Services
External Link: British Waterways
External Link: Staffordshire Wildlife
Grounds Maintenance and
Telephone: (01902) 696405
Fax: (01902) 846553