Leicestershire is located in the heart of England and has an estimated population of 650,500. Leicestershire is an attractive rural county and encompasses eighteen diverse landscape character areas, including The Wolds, Charnwood Forest, High Leicestershire and the Soar Valley.
The County contains the National Forest, one of the boldest environmental projects in the country, along with a range of country parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Leicestershire County comprises seven local authority districts, each with its own distinctive character. These are: Blaby, Charnwood, Harborough, Hinckley & Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Oadby & Wigston.
Some of the key settlements within Leicestershire include Blaby, Loughborough and Shepshed (Charnwood), Hinckley and Earl Shilton (Hinckley & Bosworth), Market Harborough and Lutterworth (Harborough), Coalville and Ashby-de-la-Zouch (North West Leicestershire), Melton Mowbray, and Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston (Oadby & Wigston).
Leicestershire is a rural County and has over 300 settlements with a population of fewer than 10,000. The majority of these are very small, with nearly half having a population of under 250. Agriculture is the main land use accounting for 80% of the land area.