Project › Study Landscapes

HERCULES performs targeted case studies to develop in-depth insights on dynamics and values of cultural landscapes.

Study Landscapes on Map


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Vooremaa with adjacent Kodavere parish, Estonia

This Continental rural area in the northeast of Estonia borders the lake Peipsi. It is an everyday landscape with traditional land use structures on drumlins, scattered heritage objects and Russian Old Believers' specific street villages.

Petrified forests and agroforestry landscapes of Lesvos, Greece

Lesvos is a Mediterranean island with hills, permanent crops and shrublands. The long-settled everyday agricultural landscape has a rural character and encompasses hotspots of biological diversity, but also a multitude of archaeological features from the Neolithic.

Obersimmental, Switzerland

Obersimmental is a long Alpine valley, surrounded by mountains ranging to 3.200 m asl. Rural tourism is an important issue in this landscape with its specific features like a long cheesemaking tradition and typical farm houses.

Rhône-Alpes, France

The Rhône valley and its adjacent mountain areas are characterized by a semi-urban/rural border character. The region has a rich history due to its long-lasting exchange with the Mediterranean basin, but today is also shaped by industrial activities.

Sierra de Guadarrama foothills, Colmenar Viejo, Spain

Colmenar Viejo, located in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama (1423 - 700 m asl), is at the rural-urban divide. Livestock farming is the main land use in a landscape dominated by the presence of rain-fed pastures and holm oak dehesas. The region implies strong cultural values and traditions that go back to the Prehistoric Age; those values are linked to a very important mining and farming activity in the past. Today the region's main economic activity is services, and the strong sense of place shown by its inhabitants, contrasts with its commuter town character due to its proximity to the capital.

Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique / Brittany, France

This region is shaped by low hills facing the Atlantic Ocean. With a dense rural population, it involves both rural and semi-urban characteristics. There is a diversity of heritage landscapes (e.g., bocage) and a very active local population, engaged, among others, in the course of a biosphere reserve.

South West Devon, UK

Following the river Erme from the upland to the coast, this Atlantic region encompasses a diversity of landscapes, with both rural and peri-urban characteristics. It is an everyday agricultural landscape that is connected to a multitude of values, ranging from heritage and biological diversity to scenery and tourism.

Rhine-Meuse, Netherlands

The region covers the central river landscape of Nijmegen and Amsterdam and is shaped by complex urban-rural interactions. It comprises coastal and riverine wetlands, with a long-term history of human interventions in water systems and natural biotopes, resulting in a unique interplay of natural and cultural heritage.

Uppland, Sweden

Adjacent to the urban centre of Uppsala, this Nordic region consists of a tableland with inland and coastal plains. It is a mix of urban and rural landscapes, with nature reserves and heritage features that stem from a long-term history ranging from the Mesolithic.

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