About Us

The North Wessex Downs

The North Wessex Downs National Landscape is a designated protected landscape. It straddles the boundaries of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and covers 173 parishes and it is the third largest National Landscape in the country covering an area of 668 square miles (1,730 square kilometres).  It received its designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1972.

Conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the North Wessex Downs is the responsibility of nine local authorities within the four counties. They come together with community, farming, conservation, tourism and heritage representatives to make up a governing Council of Partners, which is supported by a small professional team.

Our work involves collaborating with a network of organisations, businesses, farmers, landowners and local communities. Together, we run and are involved with, a range of projects and initiatives to conserve and enhance the landscape – its natural environment, its heritage, and its culture – while keeping in mind the needs of local communities and businesses.

image credits: Letcombe Valley sheep, J Akam; North of Hippenscombe, Ann Shepley; Pyramidal orchid; North Wessex Downs AONB team, Ann Shepley;
Annual Forum, 2019; Fungi at Savernake, Ann Shepley; Combe Gibbet looking south; Planting up rain water planters; Cornbunting, Andy Hay