The Berkshire and Marlborough Downs Natural Area
The Berkshire and Marlborough Downs Natural Area (or the “North Wessex
Downs”) forms a steep north-facing scarp slope with a well-developed spring
line where the chalk meets the underlying clay. Arable agriculture and racehorse
gallops are dominant land uses, but remnants of the once immense sheep-walk downland still persist at places like White Horse Hill and Aston Upthorpe, supporting
rarities like the Adonis blue butterfly, pasque flower and early gentian.