Landscape character assessment of West Sussex

Land management guidelines for the 42 unique areas of West Sussex.

In 2003, we carried out an assessment of the landscape character of West Sussex. This resulted in the identification of 42 unique areas and the production of land management guidelines for each character area.

These guidelines can be used by landowners, district and borough councils, parish councils, other organisations and the public in various aspects of their work. For example:

  • landscape protection and conservation
  • community use, such as neighbourhood plans
  • background to local planning policy
  • guidance for planners dealing with planning applications.

All land management guidelines should be read in conjunction with our Strategy for the West Sussex Landscape and any other documents mentioned under each area.

The guidelines are in A3 format. To print at A4, adjust the print settings in Adobe Reader.

The High Weald

The High Weald covers the top eastern corner of the county, stretching across from Horsham and Copsale to East Grinstead and Haywards Heath, with the River Ouse running through the area.

Read these guidelines in conjunction with the High Weald AONB Management Plan

The Low Weald

The Low Weald runs around two sides of the High Weald. It is bounded for much of its length by the Wealden Greensand and is cut through by the Rivers Adur and Arun. The area contains the towns of Billingshurst, Southwater, Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill.

The South Coast Plain

The South Coast Plain lies between the dip slope of the South Downs and the waters of the English Channel, stretching between Selsey and Chichester to Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea.

Read these guidelines in conjunction with:


The South Downs

The prominent chalk upland of the South Downs rises gently from the South Coast Plain with a dramatic north-facing escarpment which runs west-east. The area contains the villages of West Marden, Singleton, Findon and Pyecombe.

Read these guidelines in conjunction with the South Downs Management Plan.

The Wealden Greensand

The Wealden Greensand runs between the Low Weald and the South Downs, stretching across the county from the edge of Petersfield to the River Adur at Steyning. This area contains the towns of Midhurst, Pulborough and Storrington.

Read these guidelines in conjunction with the South Downs Management Plan.

Last updated:
18 November 2021
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