West Berkshire Council (WBC) has granted permission for the installation of an artificial gallops for equestrian use at Compton Downs, located in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), immediately adjacent to the long-distance byway of The Ridgeway National Trail. HDA incorporated the following changes to the proposals into its supporting Landscape and Visual Appraisal, in order to allay initial concerns from WBC and the AONB Board:

  • Change the original 3m wide ‘Capita fibre surface’ to wood chip surface;
  • Removal of two 10m diameter turning circles at either end of the 965m long proposed gallop;
  • No proposed additional fencing, and replacement of the existing white tape fencing (as seen in the photo below) adjacent to The Ridgeway to a green or brown fence;
  • Additional planting of ‘woody’ (e.g. hawthorn) vegetation in selected locations along the proposed gallops, whilst conserving the open character of the Downs.