Collecting LVIA Data in England – Visual Amenity Receptors

There are many sources of data that landscape architects have to collect as a starting point in the landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) process.

To make it easier, I sub-divide the data collection into three main strands that help to inform the LVIA. These include:

  1. Visual amenity receptors
  2. Landscape relevant designations
  3. Landscape character

This is the first of three short blogs outlining the sources of data that I use to inform a LVIA.

Visual Amenity Receptors

My starting point for the search for visual amenity receptors is the government information website Magic ( ). This is a good source of information on the location of national trails, registered common land, country parks and open access areas.

I find however that the open access area information on Magic is not very clear so an easier way to search is through the Natural England website ( which contains more legible open access mapping.

SUSTRANS website ( is also a good source of data on the location and descriptions of national as well as local cycle routes.

Although it is possible to search through the local authority definitive maps for the location of public rights of way, I find that looking at a 1:25,000 OS map is often quicker to find the location of public rights of way, particularly over a large study area. The OS mapping also identifies named recreational routes as well as major and minor roads, settlements and railway lines.

For the location of visitor or local attractions, the local tourist information website is a good place to start as well as the National Trust website (

I am sure that others have different sources of data that they refer too – have I missed anything?