East & West Buckland

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East & West Buckland parish had a population of 444 in the 2011 census. Its bulk is comprised of the Devon Character Area (DCA) called North Devon Downs which  Devon County Council (DCC) describes as,

a simple, agricultural landscape dominated by the sky within an open, westerly aspect. The smooth hills have rounded profiles, and are covered by a patchwork of large, regular fields. Views are long and wide, sometimes with glimpses of the sea or estuary as a backdrop. The steep valleys which punctuate the downland run like wooded ribbons across the landscape, contrasting with the farmland in their rich colours and textures. These valleys have a secluded and secretive character. They are very tranquil, the only sounds often being birds and running water; and their sunken lanes have a timeless quality..

Its southern tongue laps the DCA called the Codden Hill and Wooded Estates which  DCC describes as,

a landscape distinguished by its landform of high, whale-backed hills, and the presence of large estates of woodland and parkland. There is a strong sense of peace and tranquillity in the woodlands and along the winding, hedge-banked lanes, with a feeling of being at the ‘heart of Devon’. This is a managed, working landscape with a strong sense of history and culture, with many historic parkland features still visible in today’s landscape. Estate villages cluster around stone bridges or crossroads, and farms nestle into folds in the hills.

Its eastern fringe tickles the edges of the Exmoor Fringe DCA, described by DCC as,

this landscape of rolling, interlocking ridges, deeply incised by river valleys and patterned by beech hedges, provides an important setting and transition to Exmoor. The upland river valleys drain southwards from the high moorland, forming deep clefts in the landscape that contain clean, fast-flowing water and are clothed in ancient oak woodlands. The Bray valley is the major landscape feature of the western part of the area; further east the valleys are shorter, steeper and narrower. Tree features and hilltop clumps form notable landmarks. The area is sparsely settled, with individual farmsteads and small hamlets and vernacular buildings that are mainly of sandstone and slate. Seen from the south, the area forms the foreground landscape to Exmoor. Seen from the north it forms a diverse and strongly patterned patchwork of fields and wooded valleys.

East & West Buckland Parish

Copyright © Ditch Townsend and Devon Lanes, 2016-2017

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