Rempstone Wooded Pasture

Although less wooded than Lulworth, the Rempstone area is characterised by a strong pattern of pastures, interspersed with small broadleaved woodlands and mature hedgerows with hedgerow trees on gently rolling terrain.

Although less wooded than Lulworth, the area is characterised by a strong pattern of pastures, interspersed with small broadleaved woodlands and mature hedgerows with hedgerow trees on gently rolling terrain. It is heavily influenced by the imposing Purbeck Ridge to the south with a gradual transition of heathland scrub towards the conifer plantations to the north. Isolated farmsteads are scattered within medium sized regular fields around narrow winding lanes. With its structured vegetation and rolling pastures, occasional glimpses of Corfe Castle and heathlands to the north all add interest to this farmed landscape.

  • Low rolling hills with intimate mosaic of pastures, woodland and dense hedgerows with trees, including dense small oak, ash and birch woodlands and hazel coppice, as well as small patches of unimproved neutral and acidic marshy grasslands
  • Occasional patches of heathy scrub and bracken, often connected with nationally designated habitats located within the South Purbeck Heaths, to the north
  • Scattered farmsteads of local stone along winding lanes with hedge banks
  • Parkland landscape and estate development at Creech Grange
  • Some fine panoramic views, particularly in the eastern portion where there are opportunities to look across the heaths and toward Poole Harbour

Land shape and structure

The landscape is of gently rolling terrain with soft London clay and Poole formation of sedimentary origin. The area is dominated by the imposing Purbeck Ridge to the south opening out the flat heathlands in the north.

Soils and vegetation

In the east, deep loamy soils support neutral damp grassland habitats. Towards the south and west, the ground is light and shallow, with sandy and acid brown soils and impoverished soils. Typical vegetation is dry acidic grassland and heath with associated habitats, gorse and bracken.

Settlement and land cover

It is a sparsely settled rural landscape characterised by occasional rural dwellings connected by winding lanes. Landcover is largely pastoral with small woodlands of oak and hazel.

Historic character

The area has a mixed character of planned regular and piecemeal enclosures. There is an occurrence of heathland character, but with more pronounced medieval farmsteads such as Brenscombe, Rollington and Kingswood. A massive Iron Age/Romano-British industrial complex has been recorded at Norden and a number of settlements and industrial sites on a smaller scale are recorded in this area.

Visual character and perceptions

With a rolling landform, the structured pattern of vegetation and enclosures provides an intimate character when compared to the surrounding open heathlands and ridge. The small dark broadleaved woodland contrast with heathy patches and rough pastures. Occasional glimpses of Corfe Castle and Poole Harbour add to the variety of experience.

Strength of character

This is a landscape judged to have a strong character. The area has a consistent pattern of rough pastures, dense hedgerows with trees and small woodland blocks with occasional settlement and farmsteads along rural winding lanes. Occasional tourism-based development detracts from the rural agricultural character.


The landscape is actively farmed, and therefore managed, with few landscape features in decline and areas of under-used or derelict land. For example, dense hedgerows are mostly intact, connecting small patches of broadleaved woodland. However, due to the farmed nature of the landscape, few areas of semi –natural habitat, particularly heathland, remain. Where this once existed, areas of conifer plantation have been planted with some negative visual impact. This landscape is largely agricultural with occasional small nucleated farmsteads offering a high-quality built environment of local stone. Overall landscape condition is good and stable.

The overall objective is to conserve the diverse intimate wooded pastoral character. The key features that unify the landscape must be conserved such as the woodland blocks, dense hedgerows and the presence of scattered trees. Enhancement of many key features, such as the hedgerows and characteristic rural winding lanes is also required to enhance the sense of continuity across the landscape.

Planning guidelines

  • Ensure new housing development is complimentary to settlement scale, form and density and secure appropriate mitigation measures. Promote the use of previously developed land before greenfield sites, where this is well connected to settlement form. Require appropriate materials and architectural detailing, recognising the variable viability issues affecting market and affordable homes. Reduce the impact of associated features, including lighting, parking and access.
  • Ensure that greenspace brought forward in connection with housing development is sensitively designed. It should maintain rural character, provide benefits for biodiversity, contribute to the functionality of green infrastructure and deliver landscape and visual mitigation and enhancement.
  • Ensure pylons, masts and other vertical elements are carefully sited and the number restricted to avoid visual clutter and further interruption of the characteristic open views. Encourage the under-grounding of small powerlines in open, sensitive locations.
  • Ensure new agricultural dwellings, barns and structures enhance the local character, are located to reduce their impact on open views and, where necessary, adopt design measures to reduce their perceived scale.  Encourage the restoration of traditional barns and farm buildings and consider the replacement of lower quality structures when planning for expansion.
  • Conserve the character of rural lanes and features such as finger posts and street furniture. Remove excessive signage and seek alternatives to infrastructure associated with urban development and out of character traffic management schemes.
  • Protect important views of the surrounding open heathlands and views towards the Purbeck Ridge.
  • Ensure farm diversification projects do not have a negative impact on local character.
  • Limit the impact of camping and caravanning sites. Restrict the expansion and creation of sites in areas where impacts are already significant, including areas subject to notable cumulative effects. Control proposals to introduce new ‘glamping’ facilities, based on landscape and visual sensitives. Pursue appropriate mitigation measures, including seasonal limitations, landscape enhancement measures and conditions that control noise and light pollution.
  • Limit the impact of equine-related activity on landscape character, visual amenity and public access. Avoid the subdivision of prominent fields, particularly at settlement edges and on hillsides, and locate stables, jumps and other equipment in unobtrusive locations. Avoid the use of uncharacteristic fencing materials, which can be widely perceptible and appear out of place. Reduce conflict between equine management and public access where possible and ensure that public rights of ways are properly managed and maintained.
  • Ensure that coastal and flood defences are compatible with the National Landscape’s exceptional undeveloped coastline. Require the use of materials that are complementary to the character and appearance of their environs.
  • Ensure that any commercial forestry plantation is balanced with native deciduous planting and designed to enhance natural character, as well as delivering biodiversity gains such as strengthening ecological networks.
  • Require limitations to and mitigation of noise and light pollution, recognising the impact these issues have on tranquility and undeveloped rural character. Avoid unnecessary and prolonged noise and light pollution. Require good design to limit the impacts and use appropriate planning conditions to secure ongoing control.

Management guidelines

  • Replant species rich hedgerow sections where lost, avoiding the use of post and wire.
  • Enhance woodland management, particularly restoration of coppices, with small scale planting to connect existing woodlands and plant further scattered trees. Further conifer planting is not an objective.
  • Restore important patches of heathland through phased conifer felling and introduce grazing regimes to prevent further scrub encroachment.
  • Conserve the pattern of enclosed woodlands and open pastures.
  • Enhance management of permanent grassland to prevent loss to agricultural improvement and damage to wildlife and archaeological features.
  • Enhance management of arable farmland to create a wildlife-rich habitat supporting farmland birds. This will include retaining areas of fallow land, maintaining an unploughed margin around fields and the introduction of conservation headlands. Reduce the intensity of farming practices around important sensitive habitats.
  • Enhance the function of habitats in supporting the wider ecological network, where appropriate.
  • Protect hedge banks and replant hedgerow trees.