Cheshire is composed of market towns, villages and hamlets. The historic city of Chester represents the administrative centre and is one of the counties largest conurbation’s. Cheshire is well known for it’s black and white buildings, it’s sandstone and it’s gritstone which help to create a landscape that evokes a sense of locality and distinctiveness.
The soils of Cheshire are directly related to the underlying rocks and sediments. Most of the county is underlain by red Triassic sandstone and this gives rise to a sandy soil as on the Sandstone Trail. However, in places the glacial sediments above these sandstones, have produced different types of soils depending on whether those sediments were a result of ice deposition, lake accumulations of organic material i.e. peat or wind blown sediments. This leads to a rich diversity of soils in Cheshire creating a fertile base for agriculture, tourism and biodiversity.
The Cheshire region has a distinctive and nationally important geodiversity. Geodiversity is the variety of soils, rocks, fossils and minerals as well as natural processes such as river processes, which are present throughout the whole county. This is obvious in the rich red colour of the rocks, soils, building stone and boundary walls. Geodiversity permeates every aspect of our lives. We use the resources, live on and travel across the land and end our days within it. The character of Cheshire is determined by its geodiversity and we must safeguard it for its intrinsic value, its ecological value, its resource or economic value and for its (geo) heritage value.
The most important landscapes in Cheshire have been designated as Areas of Special County Value (ASCV) in order to protect them from development which would adversely affect their character or the features they contain. In Cheshire, there are 15 ASCVs, designated because of their landscape quality.
There are over 5,000 listed buildings in Cheshire, of which over 100 are of exceptional interest, or grade I. There are around 160 built heritage conservation areas, over 5,000 sites of archaeological interest and 239 Scheduled Monuments across the county.
The County Sites and Monuments Record (CSMR) currently holds over 5,000 records ranging in date from the prehistoric period to the post medieval period. The CSMR includes information on earthworks, standing buildings or structures (including all pre-1700 Listed buildings), isolated finds and sites which are no longer visible. The main purpose of the CSMR is the protection of the County’s archaeological resource.
Historic Landscape Characterisation
The project aims to characterise the historic influences visible in the modern landscape and encompasses the county of Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Districts and Wirral MBC. This project is part of a national programme developed and funded by English Heritage.
The Market Towns Toolkit contains practical guidance and information for local people who want to take an active part in revitalising market towns. It is designed to help local communities find ways to assess and improve the vitality of their town and surrounding countryside. In Cheshire, the market towns of Frodsham, Neston and Sandbach and Middlewich, Malpas and Nantwich are undertaking work.
The Parish Plan is a vision of how you would like your town or village to be.
For many communities, it’s also a stepping stone to applications for other grants such as those for transport and community services. Contact Cheshire Community Council 01244 323602.
Village Design Statements and Parish Landscape Statements
Village Design Statements are produced by communities to show what kind of development they want as part of their settlement. Parish Landscape Statements provide direction for development with respect to the parishes landscape. Contact John Gittins at Cheshire Landscape Trust for more information on 01244 376333 or email
Revealing Cheshire’s Past
Promoting public access to Cheshire’s Sites and Monuments Record through a series of promotional materials including website, exhibitions and factsheets
01244 603997 Moya.Watson@cheshire.gov.uk
Weaver Valley Regional Park
Project runs for 25 miles down the centre of Cheshire from the edge of Runcorn to Crewe is a unique project which will create a large scale recreational resource. Centuries of salt extraction and processing within the Weaver and Wheelock Valleys have left a unique legacy of waterways, archaeological remains, subsidence flashes, chemical works, waste tips, biodiversity and cultural heritage. 01244 603174 Ian.Dale@cheshire.gov.uk