The English countryside is a priceless national asset. It is fundamental to our national identity as well as a rich source for our local identity. This is reflected in popular public opinion (Public Attitudes to the Countryside, Countryside Commission, CCP 481, 1997, £4). The most remarkable aspect of England’s countryside is its diversity. The Countryside Agency believes that it is in the national interest to protect and strengthen this diversity. Our work to identify and describe the character of England, which we are publishing here, is intended to:
- raise awareness of the diversity of countryside character we enjoy;
- increase understanding of what contributes to that character and what may influence it in the future; and
- encourage everyone to respect the character of the countryside and take account of it in everything that they do.