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Landscape

Summary
  • MG 2 (43) lies within the Special Landscape Area, Ely Valley & Ridge Slopes - setup to prevent inappropriate development
  • Key Policy and Management Issues include:
    • Restrict  development  so  it  does  not  impinge  on  the  ridge  line  and  create  linear development along the A48. 
    • Control housing development and farm conversions. 
    • Improve deteriorating broadleaf tree cover and hedgerows. 

Vale and ridge landscape near Bonvilston 

Description  
A large area of undulating hilly terrain that runs east west from Cowbridge, around 
the  top  of  the  Upper Waycock Valley towards the unitary authority boundary at Culverhouse Cross and including the Wenvoe area, and down to the confluence of the  Thaw and Waycock at Llancadle.  It forms an important ridgeline across the central Vale landscape, largely agricultural in land use. It affords long distance views across the wider Vale landscape.  The LCA is dissected by the A48(T) road which follows the ridgeline across the area. The ridge crest was previously designated as a separate LCA but it has now been combined within this LCA as it is part of a larger geological feature and was not sufficiently significant visually to justify a separate landscape character area. 
 
Geological Landscapes 
An  area  of  undulating  Lias plateau (aspect area GL942) dissected by the Thaw-Waycock lowland river system.  The area rises to 115-125m AOD and forms the background context to the wider river system. 
 
Landscape Habitats 
A largely agricultural area it exhibits a range of dry terrestrial habitats, with areas of arable  cultivation  and grassland,  bounded  by  hedgerows  and  hedgerow  trees.  Woodland areas, mostly deciduous, found on the higher ground to the north. 
 
Visually and Sensory Landscapes 
The LCA is an area of lowland plateau with a series of enclosed valleys created by the Thaw  -  Waycock river system.  Its northern portion (aspect area VS271) forms a visually  important  ridgeline  in  the  Bonvilston/St Nicholas  area  which  rises  to  137m AOD  at  Pantylladron  between  Cowbridge  and  Bonvilston.    This affords  extensive views across the Vale.  The area is a mixture of arable and pastoral farming within a matrix of hedgerows with hedgerow trees.  Field sizes are medium to large, giving an extensive open feel to the area.  
There are a number of scattered settlements and farms, with the main settlements straddling the A48 corridor.  The eastern edge of the  LCA  which  follows  the  authority  boundary  includes  the  developed commercial area  at  Culverhouse  Cross,  below  Tumbledown.    There  are  some  prominent woodland blocks  along  the  northern  edge  of  the  LCA  eg:  Cottrell  Wood, Coedarhydyglyn, and Coed Mynydd Coch. 
 
Historic and Cultural Landscapes  
Falls within the extensive rural Vale cultural aspect area (CL039), which reflects the agricultural development of the area and its resultant effects upon the landscape.  

The  A48(T)  follows the course of an important Roman road route across South Wales.  Llantrithyd Park, which forms a remarkable example of an unaltered sixteenth century garden and seventeenth century deer park lies within the LCA and is  included on the Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.  Association with public entertainment with the location of the Wenvoe TV transmitter, near Downs. 

Key Policy and Management Issues  
•  Retention  of  the  integrity  of  the  agricultural  landscape  character  through management of its principal elements.  
•  Longer term management of woodlands.  
•  Integration of settlement edge / new development.  
•  Management of historic landscape features. 


St Nicholas and Bonvilston Ridge Crest Mosaic Rolling Lowland - Agricultural management generally good.  Maintain tree cover on ridge line to integrate development. Broadleaf tree cover is old and deteriorating. Develop woodland cover and hedgerows for better integration. 

Special  Landscape  Areas 

A Special Landscape Area is a non-statutory conservation designation used by local government in some parts of the United Kingdom to categorise sensitive landscapes which are, either legally or as a matter of policy, protected from development or other man-made influences.  
Some are protected sites where conservation is backed up by law, others – which often overlap the statutory ones – have been earmarked for sensitive management as fine examples of natural sites.  

Although the definitive map needs to be checked, the site MG 2 (43) appears to be within the Special Landscape Area, Ely Valley & Ridge Slopes.



In 2007, the Special Landscape Areas north and south of St Nicholas were both extended. 

  • Ely Valley & Ridge Slopes - exclusion of NE corner and extension south to the A48. 
    • Extended to restrict development so it does not impinge on the ridge line and create linear development along the A48
    • Control housing development and farm conversions
    • Improve deteriorating broadleaf tree cover and hedgerows. 
    • The  ‘Outstanding’  elements  relates  to geological  landscapes,  as  well  as  the  historic  and  cultural landscape  features  associated  with  the  historic  parklands  at Miskin  Manor (RCTHL751,  RCTCL033)  and  Talygarn (RCTHL987).
  • Dyffryn Basin & Ridge Slopes - extension SW to include areas of high value and to form a defensible boundary