The present research investigated visual preferences for nature development landscapes among 500 residents from six plan areas in The Netherlands. Significant differences in relative preferences for wild versus managed scenes were found between landscape types and respondent groups. Development of wild nature was evaluated less positively in a forested area than in more open, rural areas. Among the background variables included in the study, place of residence, age, socio-economic status, farming background, preference for green political parties, and recreational motives were found to be systematically related to relative preferences for wild versus managed nature scenes, accounting for 16% of the variance in preference ratings. These findings are discussed within an applied decision making context in The Netherlands. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.