West Berkshire Living Landscape

West Berkshire Living Landscape

Crookham Common by Rob Appleby

A landscape rich with history and wildlife

 

The West Berkshire Living Landscape scheme covers 27 square kilometres, including the river valleys of the Enborne and the Kennet which are separated by the higher gravel plateau and heathland mosaic of Greenham and Crookham Commons. A quarter of the project area is designated as important for wildlife, either locally, nationally or internationally.

 

The Living Landscape contains at least 97 threatened or endangered species such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, adder and woodlark. Despite this wealth of wildlife, the landscape has become fragmented. Lowland heathland such as the Greenham and Crookham Commons is one of the most threatened habitats in England, and since 2008 we have expanded and enhanced this precious landscape by increasing the areas of heathland and improving the links between fragmented pockets.

West Berkshire Living Landscape

West Berkshire Living Landscape

Making a difference for threatened wildlife

Our aim is to protect, expand and enhance this unique and diverse landscape of West Berkshire, creating an environment richer in wildlife for everyone.

Lapwing chick in wet grass

Lapwing chick by Margaret Holland

Our volunteer work parties maintain these habitats and we carry out regular surveys to monitor the effectiveness of our management. We are working with local landowners and farmers to improve the links between habitats on their land and our nature reserves. These links include hedgerows, woodland, ponds and streams, which provide vital ‘corridors’ for wildlife to move across the Living Landscape.

Woodlark on post

Woodlark on post by Amy Denness 

We also employ seasonal wardens to meet visitors on Greenham and Crookham Commons to explain why and how to avoid disturbing our precious ground-nesting birds, and run regular guided walks and volunteer activities.

Nature reserves within the Living Landscape

Our nature reserves in the West Berkshire Living Landscape area include:

Projects in the Living Landscape

Our conservation work with West Berkshire Council in the Living Landscape area has included  two major projects. 

The three-year project Heathland and Beyond enlarged the heathland areas at Crookham Common by 8%. The success of this project led to a five-year National Lottery Heritage Fund Linking the Landscape project which concluded in January 2019. This project saw us working with landowners across the Living Landscape area to improve habitat quality, extent and connectivity.

Read a blog about the successes of our Linking the Landscape project

Download the project report 

Get involved

To get involved with our work in the West Berkshire Living Landscape join one of our work parties below.

Other volunteering opportunities

Bowdown Woods nature reserve nr. Newbury
1st Sunday of each month from October to April

Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham
Meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month

Thatcham Community Orchard Group (at the Nature Discovery Centre)
Meet regularly throughout the year

West Berkshire Thursday Volunteers (Padworth Common)
2nd Thursday of every month from September to May

See all volunteering opportunities

Species and habitats

Find out more about the rare and threatened species our staff and volunteers are creating habitats for in the West Berkshire Living Landscape.

Explore the area

West Berks Walk One

Greenham Common

Greenham Common by Adrian Wallington

West Berks Walk One

Enjoy varied wetland wildlife, ancient woods and rare heathland. Starting in Thatcham, this 6-mile circular walk takes in Bowdown Woods nature reserve. Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 158 1:25,000 scale, covers the route.

Download the walk

West Berks Walk Two

kingfisher

Kingfisher by Margaret Holland

West Berks Walk Two

Walk along the River Enborne, through woodland and pastures. Starting at Thatcham railway station, this 6-mile circular walk takes in part of of Greenham and Crookham Commons. Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 158 1:25,000 scale, covers the route.

Download the walk

Heritage lottery fund and WBC logos
Living Landscape

Upper Thames Living Landscape

Find out more

Chimney Meadows by Andrew Marshall

Wildlife

Living Landscapes

Read about the Living Landscape project

Find out more

Greenham Common by James Osmond

Living Landscape

Bernwood Forest and Ray Valley Living Landscape

Find out more
Support us

Join the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust

Joining your local Wildlife Trust is the best thing you can do to help wildlife in your area. We rely on the support of people like you to help us protect the wildlife and wild places of our three counties.

Join today