A Major Regional environmental Development for the Kennet Valley

After three years of planning, over twenty reports from expert consultants and an extensive and in depth public consultation, the planning application for the Kennet Valley Wetland Reserve, to be developed by the Town and Manor of Hungerford, has now been submitted to West Berkshire Council.

On the northern edge of Hungerford, the Town and Manor plans to restore this ancient water meadow, greatly increasing its biodiversity and opening it to the public as a wetland reserve. The project, on land known as Undy’s Meadow, will fully reconnect the River Kennet to its historic floodplain, helping create new wetland habitats and mitigating flood risk further down the valley.

Wetlands are increasingly being recognised as incredibly important, not only for the variety of wildlife habitats they provide, but also for their role in flood mitigation and climate change. ‘First drought, then floods, Britain experiences harsh weather extremes nowadays and it will only get worse with climate change. We must build our resilience. Fortunately, there’s a good way of doing that – restoring wetlands’ Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England.

The wetland reserve proposed for Hungerford is a large site, at approximately 40 acres with the potential to create a mosaic of habitats including wet woodland, reed beds, scrapes and lakes as well as damp grasslands. The proposed development will also include a new access from Charnham Park Road and an Education and Information Centre.

Julie Lloyd, the Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford, says: ‘This is one of the largest and most significant environmental developments in the Kennet Valley for many years. It will be open to the public during daylight hours and with no access charge, this will benefit not just the people of Hungerford, but also the many thousands of residents in the Kennet Valley and far beyond.

To see the plans go to the West Berks planning portal

The application reference is 24/00764/OUTMAJ with a determination deadline of Mon 12 Aug 2024.

https://publicaccess.westberks.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=SBZA5QRD0OX00

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