Christmas festivity in our historic market towns
Imagine yourself back to the Jane Austen Regency period or in the swing of Victorian England. You're taking the horse-drawn stage coach from London to spend Christmas in Bath, stopping a night or two (as they did) at the half way point - in the market towns of Marlborough, Hungerford or Devizes.
Sizzling food, local ale and handmade crafts - brilliant Christmas gifts (don't forget to treat yourself, too!)
Take a look at the events section below for a taste of the Christmas events happening across the North Wessex Downs.
You can also enjoy Santa Cruises on the Kennet & Avon Canal throughout December.
All aboard the Rose of Hungerford or the Jubilee of Newbury!
If you are looking for a special gift for Christmas, why not pick up a copy of the new book by Steve Davison.
The most comprehensive account of the history, culture, landscape and people of our area, 'The North Wessex Downs' is available in local bookshops.
Hungerford Bookshop will be hosting a book signing on December 13th at 18:00.
Christmas might just have come early! We have teamed up with National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the UK in a Christmas Advent Calendar Competition. Enter each day from 1st -24th December for your chance to win the daily prize.
Fantastic prizes include a Virgin Balloon Flights voucher for 2 people, a 7 night state on the glorious Isle of Wight, craft courses in Sussex, meals out in Kent plus guide books and Ordnance Survey maps.
Visit the Our Land website for further details of how to enter.
North Wessex Downs AONB Forum
Over 115 people visited Rockley in the north west of the North Wessex Downs AONB to attend the 2013 Forum.
This year's Forum offered something rather different from recent years. The theme was conservation on a truly landscape scale, and we focused on three strategic projects that are collaborating across the North Wessex Downs and beyond, Stepping Stones, Winning Ways for Wildlife and the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area, followed by a presentation by Dr Dan Hoare from Butterfly Conservation.
The afternoon activity was a tractor/trailer tour to see highlights of the NIA. Many of those attending remarked how the forum offers a valuable chance to meet other AONB partners 'particularly of like minded folk, of which there were many'!
Thanks to Count Konrad Goess-Sarau and Estate Manager, Chris Musgrave of Temple Farm for kindly hosting us.
Update on management plan consultation
Our consultation on the draft North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan 2014-19 has now closed.
We received responses from groups and individuals representing a wide range of interests and are now considering these views. A final draft will be agreed and presented to our Council of Partners in March, before adoption by local and statutory organisations.
For further information about the Management Plan Review process or to discuss your comments further, please contact the acting Assistant Director, Oliver Cripps by email: email@example.com or telephone: 01488685440.
Grown in Britain
Grown in Britain brings together everyone who values our forests, woods and trees and the products we can make from the wood they produce.
Among other initiatives, the campaign will label products from British woodlands and encourage the growth of indigenous industries such as sawmills, forestry and wood treatment.
A film has been produced that encapsulates Grown in Britain - watch it here.
Some dates for your diary
If you have any events that you would like to include in our events calendar, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
River Kennet moth nights
Action for the River Kennet's latest moth nights have continued to record new species.
At a recent moth trapping, 106 moths were caught. This included at least ten new species for the site, including Palpita vitrealis, an immigrant typically found in southern coastal counties (pictured).
For further details contact Charlotte Hitchmough on 07880 515859
The North Wessex Downs AONB Team:
Julie Baldwin, Partnership Co-ordinator
Oliver Cripps, acting Assistant Director
Dawn Hamblin, Leader Programme Manager
Andrew Lord, Planning Advisor
Henry Oliver, Director