The North Wessex Downs are famed for their natural beauty. Iconic historic features including the Avebury stone circles, the Uffington White Horse and Watership Down sit within dramatic landscapes that range from wide views across open, rolling downland to intimate, wooded landscapes and river valley meadows dotted with historic features and spring-line villages. That’s why they are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – one of the UK’s finest landscapes, worthy of the highest level of protection.

A cornerstone to safeguarding the future beauty of these landscapes and their cultural and wildlife heritage is the statutory AONB Management Plan.

The Plan sets out priorities and policies to protect and enhance the special qualities of this huge area. The North Wessex Downs AONB encompasses parts of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and is encircled by large and expanding urban centres: Swindon, Wantage, Didcot, Newbury, Basingstoke, Andover and Devizes.

“Public involvement in preparing our new Management Plan is an important part of the process” said Ted Hiscocks, Chairman of the North Wessex Downs AONB Partnership that produces the Plan. “The AONB Management Plan 2019-2024 will help to guide and inform change at a time of enormous pressure for harmful development, as well as great uncertainty in farming and nature conservation as we move towards Brexit.”

“This is a chance for everyone to have their say on the North Wessex Downs and help shape its future.”

People can find the draft Management Plan on the AONB website. There is a short online form for responses, or you can submit more detailed comments if you wish. The public consultation runs until 23 November.