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Greenham and Crookham Plateau

Encompasses the whole plateau from Brimpton to Greenham and the slopes along the Kennet Valley in the north and the River Enborne in the south and east. Includes some riverside land along the Enborne in the south, where the River forms the boundary. Extends west to include a group of woodlands at Sandleford.

Click here for the area map.

Joint Character Area: Thames Basin Heaths

Geology: The plateau has a large area of Silchester Gravel the overlies London Clay Sand (Bagshot Beds) which is found in a band at the edge of the Gravel. There are also some areas of Head at the edge of the top of the plateau. The slopes are London Clay Formation clay, silt and sand. There is alluvium along the Enborne Valley. The western section has a similar geology with Silchester Gravel, London Clay Sand ad London Clay Formation.

Topography: a flat plateau that slopes away to river valleys in the north, south and east. The western area is the south facing slope at the edge of the plateau as it extends westwards into the developed land at Wash Common.

 

Biodiversity

Heathland and acid grassland: Extensive heathland and acid grassland areas at Greenham Common with small areas at Bowdown Woods and remnants at the mainly wooded Crookham Common and at Greenham Golf Course.

Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland: Extensive areas on the plateau slopes. Bowdown Woods and the areas within Greenham Common SSSI.

Wet Woodland: found in the gullies on the slopes at the plateau edge.

Other habitat and species: farmland near Brimpton supports good populations of farmland birds. The heathland is important for birds and butterflies and there are populations of reptiles and great crested newts in the area.

Access: Large areas at Greenham and Crookham Common are accessible. Bowdown Woods is a nature reserve.

Targets and opportunities: management of heathland. Restoration of heathland at Crookham Common with good potential for heathland restoration on extensive Silchester Gravels in the east. Woodland management. Management for farmland birds. The West Berkshire Living Landscape project targets this area providing a focus for management and habitat restoration.  There is potential to extend the area to include areas in Hampshire along the Enbourne and at Newtown Common.

Much of the work in this area is being carried out through the West Berkshire Living Landscape Project.