Scheme area boundary flexibility


I couldn't see this topic amongst those listed, but please direct me to any prior discussion I might have missed.

Devon Wildlife Trust is considering a Round 1 application for May 2017 and we are trying to square the programme's 200km2 limit for a scheme's boundary with the landscape character and sparse population spread of our proposed area.

Does anyone have experience or advice please on the degree of HLF flexibility with this issue, and how to frame such a case? I've seen the guidance notes detail on the need for such a rationale, as in '...explain how you will ensure the benefits of our funding are not spread too thinly'.

A wider point - it's great to see so much dialogue and exchange of views on this programme. I'm really glad so many schemes are coming through and succeeding.

All the best,



Submitted by karen.shelley-… (not verified) on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:11


Hi Russell,

We came up against the same issue with our application for the South West Peak area of the Peak District.  We started with the premise of using the Landscape Character Assessment to define our landscape area which gave us 354km2 - clearly a bit larger than the guidance suggests!  Partners tussled for a while over the size of the area, looking at options for reducing it either along administrative boundaries or water catchments but there was no other sensible way of chopping bits off the area to make it smaller (particularly when a key component of our scheme was to address breeding wader decline and wader hotspots are quite well spread across the area).  Like you, we have a sparsely distributed population in the area, which is surrounded by some large towns, so our resident audience is relatively small and scattered and yet our audience of beneficiaries is large. 

We have now completed our development phase and are awaiting a decision from HLF for entering into delivery. We stuck to our original area (some additional parties wanted to enlarge it to include their project ideas, but we stuck to our landscape principles) and have ended up with a mixture of projects, some of which are site specific, some focus on key locations across the area (landscapes within the landscape), others (particularly the engagement ones) are area-wide.  It is really about justifying what you want to do, where, and why.  It does help if you have an up to date and well rationalised LCA.

Hope this helps?

Good luck,


Submitted by russell.luscom… (not verified) on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:40

In reply to by karen.shelley-… (not verified)


Hi Karen,

That's really helpful, many thanks.

Your scheme looks very promising from an initial glance. Best of luck for the Round 2 decision.


Submitted by LP-11-01138 (not verified) on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:15


Hi Russell,

Yes, we do indeed have experience with this, for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership: as a result of the focus on the very lengthy Ouse Washes at the heart of this Fenland landscape, the fact that very few related villages are actually very close to this important landscape feature (plus a range of other considerations), we definitely needed more 'space' than the prescribed 200 km limit, resulting in the somewhat unusual and probably unique landscape shape we have amongst the 99 LP schemes to date - see for our eventual 243 km2 sized area.

In order to get there, we did have to go through a few loops with the HLF: as part of the Landscape Character Assessment we commissioned (LCA can be downloaded here - click on link at top) we added on extra work to justify the boundary line chosen for the landscape. Thus, we had the final boundary defined through the extensive research done as part of the Landscape Character Assessment - this included extensive consultation with all partners involved to find out their opinions on historic, perceived and other boundaries to be taken into consideration.

So yes, do your homework; if you have good reasons why the 200 km2 is simply not big enough, go to the HLF with a strong justification to increase the size.

One note of warning though: the HLF, I think, rather sees smaller areas wherever possible for LP schemes, as the visual (and perceived) impact of an LP scheme will be greater with local community members as a reuslt: a very important point, although this simply did not impact on our decision to widen the landscape area, with the Ouse Washes Landscape and its communities having a very different, distinct layout than most other landscapes in the UK.

If you would like to know more, by all means contact me on

Good luck, Mark


Submitted by russell.luscom… (not verified) on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:44

In reply to by LP-11-01138 (not verified)


Hi Mark,

Many thanks for those useful points.

I was aware of your scheme from ex-colleagues at RSPB, so it's interesting to see some details.


Submitted by l.cooke (not verified) on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 12:15



In our development stage we refined the project boundary for the This Exploited Land LPS Scheme.

The revision was based on the Landscape Character Assessment and the project themes. This was discussed and agreed amoungst the project exceutive and partnership. We included discussion of the refined scheme area within Part 1 of our LCAP document (pg 51).

Overall we kept within the 200km2 and shaved a few km2 from the total project area. Refining the project area allowed us to focus on a more 'landscape-shaped' area that reflected the communities and stories the scheme is focussed on.

So I echo the 'doing the homework' points above.





Submitted by rluscombe@devo… (not verified) on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 14:22

In reply to by l.cooke (not verified)


Hi Lu,

That's good to know, thanks.