Classification of landscape sensitivity for visual impact assessment of forestry.
Keywords: Landscape, amenity forestry, visual impact assessment, landscape policy, land use, forest aesthetics, planning laws, environmental impact assessment, forest design, image database, forestry policy, environment.
AbstractThe landscape issue of greatest overall significance in Ireland at present is forestry. Large scale forestry development is increasing due to recent reduction in the viability of conventional agriculture. With growing emphasis upon leisure pursuits as well as on environmental quality, forestry is no longer regarded as a purely commercial enterprise, but also as an amenity, both inherently and visually in the landscape. Relatively little serious research is being carried out on the visual impact of forestry upon the landscape, yet this impact is increasingly being recognised as critical, particularly as forestry is often located in visually sensitive mountain regions. With growing public sensitivity to the integrity of the rural landscape and tightening of control of development by county planning authorities, a systematic and thorough procedure must be developed for the assessment of this impact. As the scope of forestry expands to include amenity development, such assessment will become more critical. The positive development of forestry, especially in visually sensitive areas, will require long term planning and will likely have to conform to an overall land use and landscape policy which indicates the extent and type of forestry acceptable. In order to determine which landscapes require strict control with respect to visual impact, it is necessary to first establish the visual sensitivity of the landscape. Visual sensitivity levels determine whether or not forestry development in a particular landscape is acceptable and are established by examining the following: landscape susceptibility, key viewpoint distance, landscape quality, aesthetic experience. Assuming that forestry is acceptable, a forest design is next produced, followed by the production of visual simulation. Visual impact assessment (VIA) is finally carried out on the site from key viewpoints based upon the visual simulation facilitating systematic assessment of the aesthetic relationship of forestry to the landscape.
How to Cite
McCormack, A. and O’Leary, T. (1993) “Classification of landscape sensitivity for visual impact assessment of forestry.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9714 (Accessed: 2February2023).