The Kennet Valley from Newbury to Reading extending to include large areas of gravel pits in the east. The area includes all the area in the valley covered by the West Berkshire Living landscape Project. Also includes the lower section of the Enborne Valley extending to include the valley of a tributary stream at Ashford Hill.
Geology: this area lies on the alluvium and River Terrace sand and gravel.
Topography: flat riverside land
Chalk River: The River Kennet is an important chalk river and is notified as a SSSI as far as Woolhampton.
Reedbeds: This area supports the most extensive areas of reedbed habitat in Berkshire including the SSSI and LNR at Thatcham and the SSSI at Woolhampton.
Fen: There are some areas of tall fen habitat especially near Thatcham as well as areas within gravel pits in the east and in some of the meadows. There are also areas in the valley at Ashford Hill.
Wet woodland: There are patches of willow dominated woodland.
Lowland meadow: the most important area is at Ashford Hill where the valley supports a diversity of lowland meadow and fen habitat.
Wet grassland: there are remnant areas of wet grassland throughout the valley.
Standing water: The extensive gravel pits in the east provide important habitat for birds. Hosehill Lake is a Local Nature Reserve. Aldermaston Gravel Pit is a SSSI and Nature Reserve. The associated fen, scrub and woodland habitat adds greatly to the diversity of the area. The Kennet and Avon Canal runs the whole length of the area.
Geodiversity: Brimpton Gravel Pit has important geological exposures.
Access: The canal provides the main focus of access, while the are accessible Local Nature Reserves at Thatcham and Hosehill Lake near Theale.
Targets and Opportunities: River management, restoration and protection. Management and re-creation of reedbed and fen. Management of gravel pits and associated habitats. Potential for some nature conservation afteruse in future mineral extraction. Management, restoration and re-creation of lowland meadow and wet grassland habitat. The west of the area is within the West Berkshire Living Landscape project boundary.
If you would like to get involved with projects in this BOA please contact us for current opportunities.
Contact the West Berkshire Farming and Countryside Project for free advice in this area: