An open, elevated landscape, where the long views out make an important contribution to the sense of place. The high land of Exmoor (to the north) and Dartmoor (to the south) provide orientation, and a backdrop of seasonally-changing colour. In the north, views out to sea and across the north Devon coast lend a strong maritime influence. Views across and into the neighbouring Taw and Torridge valleys emphasise the contrast between this open farmland and the wooded, enclosed and intimate valley landscapes on either side. Skylines are very important, with clumps of trees and square church towers acting as prominent features and landscape focal points. Woodland and occasional patches of unimproved grassland contribute to the seasonally-changing colour and texture of the landscape.
This long, narrow area comprises the ridges of high land between the Taw Valley (to the east) and the Torridge Valley (to the west). To the north is the lower-lying Taw-Torridge Estuary, and to the south is a gradual transition to the open inland plateau of the High Taw Farmland.
To protect the landscape’s open skylines, and to protect and enhance its rural character. The area’s distinctive skylines, with their characteristic church towers and hill-top clumps remain free from inappropriate development. Agricultural land is well-managed, including hedgerows and patches of unimproved grassland. Historic features and surviving areas of Culm grassland are protected, along with the area’s qualities of tranquillity and dark night skies. Existing development is better-integrated into the landscape to enhance its rural character.