Agricultural Landscapes

Landscape architects can design new agricultural landscapes; a classic example were the new polder landscapes of the Zuider Zee designed in the twentieth century. Landscape architects worked on the design of recreation forests, nature areas, beaches, roadside landscape as well as organisation of the agricultural villages and the new towns of Lelystad and Almere. They designed a new land, which has become a new province of The Netherlands, called Flevoland. A while team of landscape architects worked for the state polder authority, the Rijksdienst voor het Ijsselmeerpolders.

But Dutch landscape architects also have a long history of working in settled agricultural landscapes on landscape consolidation schemes (ruilverkaveling in Dutch). Due to inheritance laws, land holding were fragmented and dispersed. Landscape consolidation involved redistributing holding into large farm units and providing nature areas as well well. Landscape Architects working for the Dutch State Forestry Service (the Staatsbosbeheer) oversaw this work.

't Goy

agricultural consolidation in a peat landscape. ‘t Goy, Utrecht Province, The Netherlands.

Now in the 21st century Dutch landscape architects are working at a national scale, for example the Dutch National Waterplan of 2009, initiated by Dirk Sijmons when he was the Dutch State Landscape Advisor in 2004–8. This plan dealt with sea and river flooding, but also water supply and protection of aquifers from nitrification. Currently a second plan is under consultation for the period 2016-2021.

Such work could be norm in nearly all European countries. Currently the new post 2003 Central European countries of the European Union, from Estonia to Bulgaria, are undergoing a transformation thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy. The need for landscape architects to contribute is clearly there.

So what about Britain In 1974 landscape architect Richard Westmacott and agriculturist Tom Worthington wrote New Agricultural Landscapes for the Countryside Agency which has been reviewed on a ten yearly interval by successor agencies. The next review is due in 2016.


Agricultural landscapes- 33 years of change Agricultural landscapes- 33 years of change

from Westmacott and Worthington "Agricultural landscapes: 33 years of change" 2005


Richard Westmacott and Tom Worthington New Agricultural Landscapes Countryside Agency (Oct. 1974)

see also Richard Westmacott and Tom Worthington Agricultural landscapes: 33 years of change English Nature: 2006

Rijksoverheid (the Dutch Government)  Helpdesk Water

and Fifth National Policy Document on Spatial Planning and Second National Structure Plan for Green Areas (Vijfde Nota over de Ruimtelijke Ordening and Tweede Structuurschema Groene Ruimte/SGR2)