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Registered historic landscapes

The landscape of Wales is a vital resource for social, economic and environmental wellbeing. It is also historic — shaped by centuries of human activity and rich in evidence of the past. To recognise the value of historic landscapes and to raise awareness of their importance, Cadw has compiled a register of landscapes of historic interest in Wales. We have identified 58 landscapes of outstanding or special historic interest, which we consider to be the best examples of different types of historic landscapes in Wales.

The register provides information for decision makers and landscape managers to help ensure that the historic character of the landscape is sustained, and that where change is contemplated, it is well-informed. 

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Characterisation takes a closer look at the historic landscape by showing the processes that have shaped the landscape over centuries of human activity, contributing to its present character. Detailed characterisation studies have been compiled by the four Welsh archaeological trusts for all 58 areas on the register. These studies are available on the Welsh archaeological trusts’ websites. They are a good source of information about landscape history, and are used by local government and developers to help assess the impact of development proposals on the historic landscape.

Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust

Dyfed Archaeological Trust

Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

Caring for Historic Landscapes in Wales explains the overall importance and value of the historic landscape in Wales and provides a good introduction to those who wish to know more about this aspect of our rich and varied past.