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Encyclopedia > North Wessex Downs

The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The name North Wessex Downs is not a traditional one, the area covered being better known by various overlapping local names, including the Berkshire Downs, the White Horse Hills, the Lambourn Downs, the Marlborough Downs, the Vale of Pewsey and Savernake Forest. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an area of countryside with significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, that has been specially designated by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the United Kingdom government. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... Berkshire (IPA: or  ; sometimes abbreviated to Berks) is a county in England and forms part of the South East England region. ... Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. ... Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in south-east England, bordering on Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire. ... Wiltshire (abbreviated Wilts) is a large southern English county. ... The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. ... As seen from an altitude of 2000 feet, from the cockpit of a glider The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised hillfigure, 374 feet (110m) long, cut out of the turf on the upper slopes of Uffington Castle, an Iron Age hill fort near The Ridgeway, in southern England. ... The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. ... The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. ... The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. ... Savernake Forest, between Marlborough and Hungerford, is privately-owned by the Trustees of Savernake Estate - The Earl of Cardigan and his family solicitor. ...

Contents

Topography

The AONB covers an area of some 1,730 sq km (668 square miles). It takes the form of a horse shoe on its side, with the open end facing east, surrounding the town of Newbury. The northern arm reaches as far east as the suburbs of Reading whilst the southern arm similarly reaches Basingstoke. To the west the AONB reaches as far as Calne and Devizes. km redirects here. ... A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. ... Newbury is the principal town in the west of the county of Berkshire in the United Kingdom. ... Reading is a town and unitary authority (the Borough of Reading) in the English county of Berkshire. ... Statistics Population:  ???? Ordnance Survey OS grid reference: SU637523 Administration District: Basingstoke and Deane Shire county: Hampshire Region: South East England Constituent country: England Sovereign state: United Kingdom Other Ceremonial county: Hampshire Historic county: Hampshire Services Police force: Hampshire Constabulary Ambulance service: South Central Post office and telephone Post town: BASINGSTOKE... Calne is a town located in central Wiltshire, in the South West England region of the United Kingdom. ... Arms of Devizes Devizes is a town and civil parish in the English county of Wiltshire. ...


At its north-east extreme, the North Wessex Downs AONB faces across the Goring Gap to the Chilterns AONB on the other side of the River Thames. From here working anti-clockwise around the horse-shoe, the Berkshire Downs have a steep scarp slope facing north over the Vale of the White Horse and a gentler dip slope facing south into the valley of the River Kennet. The area includes the horse-racing village of Lambourn and is hence sometimes known as the Lambourn Downs. Beyond the town of Marlborough the downs (now called the Marlborough Downs) sweep in a semi-circle to the south around the headwater of the River Kennet, and the Vale of Pewsey cuts through these downs carrying the headwaters of the Hampshire River Avon. Here too can be found the wooded area of Savernake Forest. Finally, the highest stretch of the downs runs east along the Berkshire/Hampshire border on the opposite side of the River Kennet from the Berkshire Downs. Again the scarp slope is to the north (facing down in the valley of the Kennet) and the dip slope is to the south into Hampshire. Categories: UK geography stubs | Berkshire | Oxfordshire ... The Thames (pronounced []) is a river flowing through southern England, in its lower reaches flowing through London into the sea. ... In geology, a scarp is a type of cliff. ... The Vale of White Horse is a local government district of Oxfordshire in England. ... General Definition A dip slope is a geological formation often created by tilted strata. ... The Kennet is a river in the south east of England, and a tributary of the River Thames. ... Lambourn is a village in the English county of Berkshire. ... Marlborough is a market town in the English county of Wiltshire on the Old Bath Road, the old main road from London to Bath. ... The River Avon is a river in the county of Hampshire in the south of England. ...


Geology and natural history

The downland is part of the Chalk Formation of southern England which runs from Dorset in the west to Kent in the east and also includes the Dorset Downs, Purbeck Hills, Cranborne Chase, Wiltshire Downs, Salisbury Plain, the Isle of Wight, Chiltern Hills and the North and South Downs. A downland is an area of open chalk upland. ... The Chalk Formations of Europe are thick deposits of chalk, a soft porous white limestone, deposited in a marine environment during the upper Cretaceous Period. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... For other uses, see Dorset (disambiguation). ... Kent is a county in England, south-east of London. ... The Dorset Downs shown within Dorset The Dorset Downs are an area of Chalk downland in the centre of the county Dorset in south west England. ... The Purbeck Hills form a headland where they meet the sea at Old Harry Rocks Corfe Castle guards a gap in the ridgeway At Lulworth Cove the sea has broken through the Limestone, eroded away the weak clays and exposed the chalk of the Purbeck hills The Purbeck Hills are... Ashmore pond Cranborne Chase is a Chalk plateau in central southern England, straddling the counties Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ... The Isle of Wight is an English island and county, off the southern English coast, to the south of the county of Hampshire. ... The Chiltern Hills are a chalk escarpment that stretches in a south-west to north-east diagonal from Goring-On-Thames to Luton, but is most prominent in Buckinghamshire. ... The North Downs in England are a ridge of chalk hills that stretch about 100 mi (160 km) from Hampshire through Surrey and Kent. ... Near Beachy Head The South Downs is one of the two areas of chalk downland in southern England. ...


The area is a site of scientific interest in numerous fields and has an internationally important habitat for early gentian. Geologically, its chalk downs, dry valleys and sarsen outcrops are of note, the last in the area around Marlborough providing material for many of the Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in the area such as Avebury Henge. Species See text. ... World geologic provinces Oceanic crust  0-20 Ma  20-65 Ma  >65 Ma Geologic provinces  Shield  Platform  Orogen  Basin  Large igneous province  Extended crust Geology (from Greek γη- (ge-, the earth) and λογος (logos, word, reason))[1] is the science and study of the solid matter of a celestial body, its composition... The blue ice covering Lake Fryxell, in the Transantarctic Mountains, comes from glacial meltwater from the Canada Glacier and other smaller glaciers. ... Sarsen stones are sandstone blocks found on Salisbury Plain and elsewhere. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools Excavated dwellings at Skara Brae Scotland, Europes most complete Neolithic village. ... The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... This article is about the Avebury prehistoric site; for an article on the modern village and civil parish containing it, see Avebury, Wiltshire. ...


Economy

Horse racing forms a major industry in the area, largely because of the good quality turf that comes with the chalk underlay, and much of upland area made over to gallops and other training areas. Several of the upland villages, and especially the village of Lambourn, are home to major racing stables. Other villages with strong horse racing connections include Beckhampton, Kingsclere and West Ilsley. The term Steeplechase originated in this area, a steeplechase originally being a race between two villages, navigated by reference to the church steeples visible across the rolling downs. Horse-racing is an equestrian sporting activity which has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times were an early example, as was the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. ... Lambourn is a village in the English county of Berkshire. ... Leland Stanfords horse stable, still in use Horse kept in stable A stable is a building in which livestock, usually horses, are kept. ... Avebury Village framed by the Stone Circle Avebury (the traditional local pronunciation is Abury) is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire. ... Kingsclere is a village in northern Hampshire, UK, most famous for its proximity to Watership Down. ... The road into West Ilsley West Ilsley is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. ... Steeple is a the name of a number of settlements: In the United Kingdom Steeple, Cumbria Steeple, Dorset Steeple, Essex Steeple is also an architectural term. ...


Literature

On the south east arm of the AONB can be found Watership Down, Hampshire, where the book Watership Down by Richard Adams is set. Categories: UK geography stubs ... For other uses, see Watership Down (disambiguation). ... Richard George Adams (born May 9, 1920 in Newbury, Berkshire, England) is a British novelist who is best known for two novels with animal characters, Watership Down and The Plague Dogs. ...


AONB partnership

The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1972. It is currently managed by a partnership of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Vale of the White Horse District Council, West Berkshire Council, Wiltshire County Council, the Countryside Agency and Wiltshire Food Links. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is an area of countryside with significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, that has been specially designated by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the United Kingdom government. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Basingstoke and Deane is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England. ... Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. ... The Vale of White Horse is a local government district of Oxfordshire in England. ... West Berkshire is a local government district in Berkshire, South East England, governed by a unitary authority (West Berkshire Council). ... Wiltshire (abbreviated Wilts) is a large southern English county. ... The Countryside Agency in England is a statutory body with the task of improving the quality of the rural environment and the lives of those living in it. ...


See also

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England (AONB) is an area in England specially designated by the Countryside Agency. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ...

External link

  • North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Website

 
 

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