Landscape Design and Scenic Quality
Trees and forests, and their management, can have a significant
impact on the visual and social landscape. Most farmers would
agree that poorly integrated plantation development can actually
detract from the scenic quality of an agricultural landscape
as much as overclearing, soil erosion or the uncontrolled
spread of weeds. By carefully considering the design and ways
in which tree growth and management may influence the feel
of the area, farm forestry can be an effective means of enhancing
the agricultural landscape.
There are some simple principles or guidelines that may help
in understanding how the establishment of new forests or the
management of existing ones may impact on the scenic quality
of the landscape:
The scale of the forest should reflect the scale of
the surrounding landscape
Patterns or lines created by the forest should reflect
or imitate the patterns and contour lines of the landscape
A background vegetation type should be identified and
used to extend a frame around different elements in the landscape.
Unattractive elements such as roads, firebreaks, buildings
or powerlines should be screened.
The boundaries between different management zones should
Visual penetration into the landscape should be maintained
while retaining a sense of uncertainty about whats
around the corner.
What works in one landscape may not work in another. For example,
linear belts or rectangular blocks may look more appropriate
among rectangular paddocks and stark lines of a flat irrigation
region than in a partially clear grazing landscape.
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