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



Projects 2013 - 2014

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

Community Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

This project supplied materials for local volunteers to grow grassland plant species as plugs. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust supplied seed, equipment and expertise to groups including schools, gardening clubs and allotment groups.
The plugs are being used for planting at conservation sites identified through the 'Stepping Stones' project in collaboration with the North Wessex Downs and Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONBs.

From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up is an organic fruit and vegetable food scheme managed by The Treehouse Trust that brings local affordable fresh organic food and communities together.

The project has created a community allotment where volunteers of all ages can learn how to plant, grow, nurture, harvest and cook seasonal produce.  It is hoped to increase the amount of local and organically grown produce consumed within the local area and equip the participants involved with the skills they will need to establish fruit and vegetable plots in their own back gardens or allotments.
Surplus produce will be sold in a local producers market and any funds raised will be used to sustain the project. At the end of the first season, community groups from surrounding areas will be invited to come together for an organic vegetarian feast with ingredients sourced from the allotment. 
Open day to be held on May 17th 2014

Hedgerow Management for Fuel

Hedgerow Management

A partnership between the North Wessex Downs Woodland Forum and the Organic Research Centre at Elm Farm in Hamstead Marshall, this project looked at practical methods of managing hedgerows for sustainable woodfuel production.
Working with local woodland contractors, farmers and landowners, a harvesting/ machinery demonstration day was held at Elm Farm. The day started with an explanation of the hedgerow management cycle by Nigel Adams from Hedgelink/the National Hedgelaying Society. Participants then headed out on a farm walk to look at hedges on Elm Farm and discussed appropriate management methods for a range of hedges and the potential for woodfuel. Rob Wolton from the Devon Hedge Group then outlined a method of how to assess the volume of wood available in different hedges and over a whole farm.
The project will also work with a group of volunteers to coppice and lay trial sections of hedgerow. These trials will test the different machinery options, harvesting methods, the cost and time involved and will assess the practicality of these methods for wider use in hedgerow management.

Further information available from the Organic Research Centre.

Hermitage Parish Plan

Hermitage Parish Plan

 The Hermitage Parish Plan was launched in September 2013 at the Village Hall.  Resident’s views helped to formulate a New Parish Plan which aims for the Village to be stronger, healthier, safer, greener and more prosperous.

Some ambitions have been implemented already, such as those recognising views on future development within the Village. Other activities are just starting, such as the group working to conserve and improve the Village environment. Other ambitions such as updating the Village Design Statement support to take this task on. Social activity has not been overlooked and more group activities are planned.
Heather Whetter of the Hermitage Parish Plan Group said of the launch;
“We are proud that the New Plan is most definitely ambitious. This is a great opportunity for individuals to ‘make a difference’ to the Village and its community.”

Hungerford Tourism Benchmarking

The Hungerford Town Team was formed as a ‘Portas Pilot’ - a government initiative to support the regeneration of Britain’s high streets. The first major project completed was to contract a specialist consultant from Action for Market Towns to undertake a Benchmarking Exercise.

Town Benchmarking, established in 2006, provides a comprehensive portrait of the commercial life of towns and involves gathering and analysing data on Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) within a designated town centre area.
The report confirmed some positive aspects of Hungerford for visitors, including low vacancy rates for shops, high business confidence and an attractive appearance to the town. It also identified some of the challenges that Hungerford Town Team will be hoping to address.
Love Hungerford  For further information, please visit the Hungerford Town Team Website.

Kings Farm Wood

Kings Farm Wood Kings Farm wood is a 45 acre woodland that links the existing reserves of Clouts Wood and Markham Banks to the southern edge of Wroughton.
North Wessex Downs SDF helped the local community to purchase Kings Farm Wood and provide interpretation for visitors. It provides an exciting opportunity to create a truly outstanding nature reserve and re-create habitats to benefit local wildlife and people.
The wood will be owned jointly by Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and will be managed by the Trust on a 125 year lease. This will guarantee sustainable management and protect the land as a haven for wildlife and the local community.
The interpretation was unveiled by DEFRA Minister Lord de Mauley during a recent visit to the North Wessex Downs.

Mcalistair Hood 1McAlistair Hood in the Community

Funding from the North Wessex Downs Sustainable Development Fund helped local stone sculptor Andrew Hood set up a business training people in traditional skills.  New purchases for this project include breezeblock workstations, new chisels and mallets, large, robust workshop shelter and advertising.
The funding also provided a new bicycle trailer in order to improve outreach capabilities aimed at bringing stone sculpture to schools, colleges and community open days locally.
10 students took part in courses during the first year’s trial period and Andrew has been carrying out commissions for local groups including Englefield Primary School.
Visit the website here.

Rebuilding of Brightwalton Churchyard Wall

Brightwalton Church

This project helped to secure a wall at the All Saints Church, Brightwalton.

The Church stands in the heart of the village conservation area, clustered with the Old Rectory, the Old School House and the original school buildings which all date back c 150 years.

The Architect of the church was G E Street a leading practitioner of the Victorian Gothic revival. Though mainly an ecclesiastical architect, he is perhaps best known as the designer of the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Rejuvinating Wilton Pond

In the Village of Wilton there is a small spring fed pond that flows into Wilton Water, which is then pumped via the Crofton Beam Engines into the Kennet and Avon Canal. Over time the pond has gradually become full of silt and this has affected the ecology. Local people value the pond and applied to the SDF for support in dredging it and reinstating the banks.

Spring BulbsSpring Bulbs for Harmony Wood

The SDF contributed spring bulbs which were planted at the Andover Trees United site near Enham Alamein. This community woodland has become a popular focus for conservation, arts and recreation in the local area.




Streatley Meadows Woodland Trail




Students for Conservation 2014

RAU students

The Royal Agricultural University secured support to continue its ‘Students for Conservation’ project. The project will help reinforce links between the RAU and groups in the North Wessex Downs, such as the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area (MDNIA).
RAU Lecturer Dr Ian Grange, who manages the foundation degree in Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management, said: ‘This is a great opportunity for RAU students to get hands-on work experience in a range of projects
The funding will allow the University to work on habitat restoration projects aimed at better linking populations of priority species, such as tree sparrows and other threatened farmland birds. Students will also be able to apply their surveying training by conducting Phase 1 Habitat Surveys of the area, aimed at benchmarking environmental improvements resulting from this new management approach.

The Tally Ho


Walking Wiltshire's White Horses

Walking White Horses

Working with Creative Wiltshire, this project concerns development of resources to encourage people to explore the chalk white horses on the North Wessex Downs. It will renew interest in the White Horse Way trail, providing a guide to the walk and a new free listing for all leisure, tourism and heritage businesses connected to the Ridgeway and the White Horses on the North Wessex Downs.
The 2013 Arts Council funded project, Walking Wiltshire's White Horses led by Ali Pretty and Richard White produced a range of digital and more traditional assets for public exhibition at Wiltshire Museum and online. This funding will enable these assets to be developed for an app for mobile devices and a conventional walking guide creating a lasting legacy for the whole project
Contact: or follow:

Walks around Leckhampstead


A walks leaflet was published with Leckhampstead Parish Council to promote two routes around the village. The leaflet highlights some of the environmental, architectural and historic points of  interest in the area.
To download the leaflet, visit our publications pages.

Watering the Allotment

This project provided a water connection for the Tangley Allotment Group to their site which was established in partnership with the North Wessex Downs in 2012.

Wiltshire and Swindon Botanical Society

The SDF helped the Wiltshire and Swindon Botanical Society to purchase equipment to use with groups of children and other volunteers in the Pewsey area.

Yellow Fish Campaign

Yellow Fish

After the disastrous pesticide pollution of the river Kennet in summer 2013 ARK is keen to raise awareness of the link between drains and the river.  Yellow Fish is a campaign to raise awareness, using an enjoyable and low cost activity to support the message – Only rain down the drain!

Many of the drains in Marlborough flow directly to the River Kennet. Yellow Fish remind everybody that these drains shouldn’t be polluted with substances such as oils, paints, chemicals, dirty water or litter. The project has the full support of the Environment Agency, which has produced a resource pack to make it easy to run.

Local students working to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award will target diffuse urban pollution in Marlborough and surrounding villages, marking drains using the Yellow Fish stencil and raising local awareness to help prevent pollution. The students are volunteering their time, and they will be supervised by Action for the River Kennet. This funding will provide paint, printing materials, and high visibility bibs.
you can find out more about the Yellow Fish Campaign from the Environment Agency website.