‘What is natural beauty?’ online symposium event report

Lemmey, Tania (2022) ‘What is natural beauty?’ online symposium event report. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: https://theplacecollective.org/natural-beauty/


Tania Lemmey of the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas at the University of Cumbria (CNPPA) produced this report from an online symposium titled 'What Is Natural Beauty', held in December 2021. A recording of the symposium is available on the CNPPA YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3H1Ijt2.

The year 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the designation of the Wye Valley as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and the 70th anniversary of England’s Lake District National Park. Other protected landscapes also celebrated anniversaries. Much has changed, however, since these special areas were designated; perceptions from the past need to be re-evaluated. This symposium brought people together to consider the way we relate to and care for protected landscapes in a time of environmental crisis. Natural beauty as a concept emerged in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, and was used mainly to reflect the value attached to the aesthetic and scenic aspects of landscape. It became central to the designation of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs); and has had a massive influence on art and literature produced in the UK in response to landscapes. Over the years ‘natural beauty’ has been discussed and variously defined1 . The symposium title was a provocation for discussions around value systems, aesthetics and opportunities for beneficial change. Conversations were held within the global context of climate change and biodiversity loss, and took account of changes in UK policy and governance, including the new Environment Bill, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), and Environmental Land Management schemes. The publication of this event report coincides with the UK government’s response to the Landscapes Review, and the launch of their consultation.

1) Countryside Council for Wales ‘A Statement on Natural Beauty’ (2006); Natural England ‘Guidance for assessing landscapes for designation as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England’ (2011); Defra Science Advisory Council ‘Landscape quality: A rapid review of the evidence’ (2019).

Item Type: Report
Departments: Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 10:06
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:01
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7171


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