Landscape variety

The variety of the landscape and its components can suggest what might be provided. A landscape of extreme topographic variation, such as a mountainous or hilly area, will probably offer more scenic attraction. It might also provide mountaineering, rock climbing, hill walking, hang-gliding and other pursuits not offered by flat terrain. A variety of vegetation types will provide different settings. For example, forests can hide a great many people: they have a high visual carrying capacity, and tend to be robust landscapes containing particular animals and birds. Meadows or grassland provide good walking country with open views, places to camp, and different wildlife. Sand dunes are fragile and easily damaged, and can tolerate only very light or controlled access. Bogs and marshes offer limited possibilities, an abundance of biting insects and very low carrying capacity.

Water is always an important element, and greatly increases the attractiveness of an area. Whether the water is flowing or still it has special attractions—reflection, movement, drama, the play of light, the sound the water makes, and its cooling effect. It is also a place where numerous recreation activities can take place, thus combining in a unique way the satisfaction of the activity with the beauty of the setting.

In general the more varied the landforms and range of vegetation and associated wildlife the more attractive an area tends to be for scenic and wildlife viewing. There is a widely held view that variety tends to be preferred over monotony.