North Wessex Downs AONB, Units 3-4, Denford Manor, Lower Denford, Hungerford, RG17 0UN
01488 685 440



Projects 2007 - 2008

The links below will take you to the project item on this page:

Community Nature Link

The Northmoor Trust received £2,159 grant to produce a full guide to the Broad Arboretum and footpath link on the Northmoor Trust Estate.

The guide includes information about the wildlife, flowers and trees to be enjoyed when walking through fields and woodland around Hill Farm, Little Wittenham, and the beech-topped Wittenham Clumps. The Community Nature Link project provides accessible linked pathways around the Broad Arboretum and through Paradise Wood where research into the effects of climate change is going on. Community Nature Link also raises awareness of the North Wessex Downs AONB in this part of south Oxfordshire.

For further details please visit the Northmoor Trust (now Earth Trust) Website

Diversity in Stone.

Oxfordshire Geology Trust (OGT) received £9,650 grant to develop a unique project across the whole of the North Wessex Downs AONB.

By collaborating with local geology and community groups, OGT produced a Diversity in Stone leaflet to demonstrate the diversity of stone and other building materials such as chalk, sarsen, flints and clay used over the centuries to create the built environment of the landscape.

A series of walks and talks in villages across the North Wessex Downs was followed by production of the leaflets distributed through community groups, libraries and museums, an article distributed to newspapers and magazines, and display material given to local community groups.

Visit our Publications section to download the Diversity in Stone leaflet

Goring & Streatley Hydro Project.

Goring & Streatley Sustainability Group (GSSG) received £2,500 grant to carry out a detailed design study of turbine technology to be used in the River Thames.

This project was jointly funded with the Chilterns Conservation Board. The project produced two reports, one into the Kaplan turbine option, and the other into the Archimedean screw option, both to be located on the Goring weir. The reports will enable GSSG to go to the next stage of this ambitious project.

Hampshire Parishes Conservation Plans.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust received £9,375 grant to develop a tool-kit to help the Hampshire parishes within the North Wessex Downs AONB develop conservation plans as part of the parish planning process.

Consultation with relevant Hampshire parishes and collaborative work with Hampshire Community Action ensured several communities were fully engaged with this project.

The tool-kit will be piloted in West Berkshire and Hampshire to obtain feedback from communities before it is developed to encourage best practice for parishes within the North Wessex Downs AONB.

For further information please visit the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust website, or visit our Publications section to download the toolkit.


Improved access for all, Lambourn Footpath 6.

West Berkshire Council’s Countryside Service received £499.50 grant to contribute to a scheme to encourage more people to explore the landscapes around the village of Lambourn. Footpath 6 had several stiles which meant that the path was not accessible to families with pushchairs or people who have difficulty getting over a stile. This path is now suitable for Walking to Health groups and other local health initiatives as well as providing easy access to the North Wessex Downs from the village.

Visit the Lambourn Parish Council walks page for further information, or why not try some other walks in the North Wessex Downs AONB?

Lambourn Primary Goes Bats.

Sheepdrove Organic Farm received £447.77 grant to work with Lambourn Church of England Primary School on a project to encourage school children to have greater understanding of bats and their habitats, and establish a network of bat boxes linking the school with local gardens and Sheepdrove Farm.

This was an exciting project for the teachers and children. Head teacher Peter Shelton said: “The bats have inspired the children in their work…and will keep the children interested in conservation for many years.” During the project the children visited local farmland for the first time and learnt to appreciate and enjoy the countryside and wildlife.

Visit the Sheepdrove Organic Farm website.

Landscape and Geology Guide to the Vale of Pewsey.

Wiltshire Geology Group received £3,575 grant to research and publish an illustrated guide to the landscape and geology of the Vale of Pewsey. This promotes the value of the geodiversity of the North Wessex Downs AONB as a key part of its character, interpreting the landscape for the general public, and encouraging them to explore the countryside. The Guide raises awareness and improves understanding of the North Wessex Downs. It can be used to follow specific footpaths, and explains landscape features such as Dewponds near Knap Hill and Rybury, the Marden Henge, and stone used in villages such as Stanton St Bernard.

Visit the Wiltshire Geology Group Website to purchase the trail guide, or why not visit the Walks section of our website?

Local Food For All.

Hampshire Country Learning received £3,830 grant to run a cooking and local food project with 165 children in six primary schools in West Berkshire. Products from local farms including apples, root vegetables, dairy produce and flour were used in the lessons, and teachers were given training so that they could continue the projects with other classes. The teachers’ packs included information about farms and producers in the North Wessex Downs AONB that schools can visit and the Local Flavours food guide.

Visit Country Learning for further information.

Outdoor Learning – New Nature Detectives.

Richmond Fellowship Wiltshire Outreach received £4,231.73 grant to support a project that enabled clients of Richmond Fellowship, children from Ogbourne and St. Peter’s Primary Schools and youth groups to observe, monitor and record wildlife on Hat Gate Nature Reserve, Mud Lane and Savernake Forest, view night skies and learn about astronomy, put up bat boxes and monitor bats, and learn about moths and other insects. As a result of this project Richmond Fellowship is developing the Old Cemetery in Marlborough as a nature reserve where children can learn conservation skills.

Visit Richmond Fellowship for further information.

Sheepdrove Trinity Butterfly Project.

Sheepdrove Organic Farm received £925 grant to run a project with Trinity School, Newbury and West Berkshire Education Business Partnership. This enabled young people from Newbury to experience life on a farm for the first time and introduced them to rare and beautiful butterflies. The children recorded butterflies, improved habitats on Bockhampton Down to encourage more butterflies, and learned how to work as a team.

Visit Sheepdrove Organic Farm for more information.

Taking forward the Local Geodiversity Action Plan.

Berkshire RIGS group, which was set up with an SDF grant last year, received a grant of £9,230 to carry out three actions from the Local Geodiversity Action Plan, produced in 2006-2007 by Oxfordshire Geology Trust. These were:

For further information visit the Berkshire Geoconservation Group website.

Three Valleys Barn Owl Project.

Pang, Kennet and Lambourn Valleys Countryside Project (FWAG) received £990 grant to run three events focussing on improving the habitats for barn owls throughout the North Wessex Downs AONB.

Building on the success of barn owl projects in the Pang, Kennet and Lambourn Valleys in West Berkshire, volunteers and landowners were invited to share their knowledge and experiences with other people who would like to see more barn owls in the countryside.






Tidmarsh with Sulham Parish Plan.

Tidmarsh with Sulham planning group received £1,000 grant for the publication and dissemination of the Parish Plan.

The steering group from these two small parishes on the eastern edge of the North Wessex Downs AONB used actions from the North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan to develop their plan and actions to conserve the landscape and make it more accessible to residents and visitors.

Visit the Tidmarsh with Sulham website or download the plan here .




Traditional management for traditional landscapes.

Pang, Kennet and Lambourn Valleys Countryside Project (FWAG) received £3,810 grant to set up a programme of coppicing and hedgelaying training engaging members of the local communities in these West Berkshire valleys.

A hedgelaying competition in March drew many professional hedgelayers; only one novice felt brave enough to have a go. The project enabled people to create more wildlife habitats in hedges and to understand the economic and ecological benefits of coppicing.

Visit the West Berkshire Countryside Society website for further information (previously Pang, Kennet and Lambourn Countryside Project).

Trout ARK.

Action for the River Kennet (ARK) received £2,253 grant to set up a ‘trout in the classroom’ project with Ramsbury and Preshute primary schools on the River Kennet in Wiltshire.

Local (Kennet valley) brown trout eggs were brought into the classroom in specially adapted fish tanks which replicated conditions in a fast-flowing chalk stream. The children looked after the eggs until they hatched and then cared for the fish until they were released into the River Kennet in the spring.

Children’s learning experiences included appreciating the significance of water as a valuable resource, the habitats for brown trout, and how chalk streams and their wildlife play their part in the ecosystem of the North Wessex Downs AONB. The hands-on nature of this project created a real understanding of brown trout and their place in the ecology of the River Kennet. The children understand that conservation includes what’s on their doorstep.

Visit the Action for the River Kennet website for further information.

Walking the North Wessex Downs through art, literature and history.

Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes received £3,000 grant to produce a high quality walking guide to the Wiltshire area of the North Wessex Downs AONB based on four objects in the Museum.

Mark Loos, who has produced other walking guides, researched, wrote and illustrated the guide. Walk 1: Liddington Hill, frequented by Richard Jefferies who wrote evocatively of the English  countryside in the late 19th century.

This walk is linked to his autobiography The Story of My Heart. Walk 2: Avebury, linked with paintings by the Romantic painter David Inshaw who fell in love with the landscape of the North Wessex Downs and continues to paint here. Walk 3: Morgan’s Hill. linked with the medieval silver seal matrix of Geve of Calstone found in 1992 at the manor of Calstone. Walk 4: Kennet & Avon Canal, linked with a rare and beautiful Roman pin brooch inscribed Lucianus, found in 1993 at Woodborough.

Visit the Wiltshire Heritage Museum website for further details, or why not visit our Walks section?

Water Vole Recovery Project.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust received £5,324 grant to support a project to increase the water vole populations on the River Kennet and the Kennet & Avon Canal through targeted habitat improvements, mink control, and surveying and monitoring by volunteers and project officer.

In spite of delays due to wet weather, 16 new volunteers were recruited and trained, 20 sites were surveyed, three new rafts set to trap mink, and habitat advice and survey reports given to landowners and river managers. In addition a restoration project for Coopers Meadow in Marlborough was set up with Action for the River Kennet to regenerate water vole habitats in the river where it runs through the town.

Visit the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust website for further information.