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Landscape Character

The Avon from Mill Bridge
The Avon from Mill Bridge

4. Visual Character of Surrounding Countryside

The River Avon follows the eastern boundary of the Parish. The river and its tributaries are of national and international importance for their wildlife communities with more than 180 species of aquatic plants having been recorded together with one of the most diverse fish faunas in Britain.
This exceptional richness has led to the River Avon being designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under national legislation, and a candidate Special Area of Conservation under European legislation. The presence of species such as floating water crowfoot, salmon, brook lamprey and sea lamprey have qualified the Avon for such designations.

The river valley itself has been designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) by MAFF to encourage farming landowners to help safeguard areas of the countryside where the landscape, wildlife or historic interest is of national importance. The traditional pastoral landscape of the Avon Valley has evolved over the centuries through farming of the fertile flood plain, and has shaped a varied lowland landscape of exceptional value. Landowners are encouraged to undertake management practices to maintain and enhance the landscape and wildlife value of the river valley.

Away from the River Avon there is another SSSI of national importance - Breamore Marsh. The Marsh is a surviving manorial green on which goose and cattle grazing persists as it has done for many generations. This management has led to a near-unique assemblage of nationally rare aquatic and semi-aquatic plants associated with the seasonal ponds and ditch systems.

There are also 127.5 hectares of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC's) throughout the Parish, representing ancient semi-natural woodlands and agriculturally unimproved grasslands of significant nature conservation interest and value. SINC's are selected according to strict criteria devised by Hampshire County Council, English Nature and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. They support rare and threatened species and habitats and are recognition of the high wildlife value of a site and the legacy of good management that has maintained its interest. Local Authorities are adopting policies through applications for planning on or adjacent to SINC's.

The Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was established in 1981, and its boundary enters the Parish on the western side. The AONB is part of an extensive belt of chalkland which stretches across southern England. The landscape within this area of the Parish is characterised by remnants of a chalk downland within a traditional mixed farming setting, with scattered copses and combes throughout.

Rally Field
Rally Field looking East
'Cross Trees' House
'Cross Trees' a recent rebuild
The Cricket Pavilion
The Cricket Pavilion

5. Buildings and Landscape

Breamore is a rare example of buildings and landscape which have survived substantially unchanged throughout the 20th century. The pattern of development and the way of life can be clearly traced from the way the settlement has moulded around particular spaces and features.

In the village itself a string of cottages and other buildings lie along the main road with the concentrations of buildings around the Marsh and Upper Street, which leads to Breamore House and the church. Beyond, in the hamlets of Charford, Outwick and Roundhill a loose scatter of cottages and farms can be seen around extensive water meadows and farmland. Much of the area was designated as a Conservation Area in 1981; covering approximately 442 hectares, this is the second largest Conservation Area in the District. It provided statutory protection and opened the door to grant aid from English Heritage.

There are some 93 listed buildings in the Parish. These include the church, Breamore House itself and associated buildings, a small number of larger manors and farmhouses, together with cottages, barns, granaries, cart sheds, a water mill, road bridges, a telephone box and the village stocks. There are also many other buildings of historic interest which, together with the listed buildings, reflect the distinctive character of the area