Turner and other painters used the term
‘seascape’ to describe scenes where man and sea meet, often in
coastal areas where the character of the coastal landscape bears a
heavy influence on the sea.
What is a seascape?
Seascapes are a highly valued part of Welsh scenery – attracting
people to coastal areas for holidays and retirement. They can also
be some of our last ‘wild’ landscape areas and support a wealth of
Assessing a seascape
CCW and partners in Ireland have developed a way to define
different seascape areas according to their character.
The aim is to identify what areas, characteristics and qualities
are important to conserve at a time when our coastal areas face
many pressures from new developments.
The new method was published in the ‘Guide to best practice in
seascape assessment’ in 2001 and all the later guidance has been
built on this.
How seascape assessments work
The main steps are:
- Using major headlands to divide the coastline into
- Using computers to calculate seaward and then landward reas
that can be seen one from the other.
- Defining the types of coastal landscape (with reference to
other studies such as LANDMAP);
- Describing the character and qualities of each seascape
- Considering forces for change in each seascape area.
How seascape assessments are used
In Scotland, seascape assessments have been used to help guide
offshore wind farm developments away from sensitive areas.
Here in Wales we are doing a similar study. Guidance has also
been produced for England and Wales on seascape and visual impact
assessment for offshore wind farm proposals.
What’s in a word – Welsh definitions
In Welsh there are two words for seascapes, which help to
explain their importance.
Morluniau - relates to what we see - the concept already
familiar to seascape painters.
Morweddau - the new concept of seascape in relation to the way
land and sea interact.
These two distinctions are already common in terrestrial
landscape planning (tirlun and tirwedd).