From the chalk hills in the north-west that rise to 120 metres, Uttlesford falls towards the south-east. The landscape is mainly agricultural, dominated by intensive arable cropping, but the pattern of small villages, copses and hedges dates back at least to the medieval period. The jewel in Uttlesford's crown is Hatfield Forest, a superb medieval hunting forest; and the region also has many fine old woods – those in the north supporting that curious plant, the oxlip – and a scattering of attractive nature reserves and village greens, including two rich marshlands on the River Stort.