A report on Downland

Culver Down, Isle of Wight
Galium verum (L.) Lady's Bedstraw, a typical English chalk downland plant

Downland, chalkland, chalk downs or just downs are areas of open chalk hills, such as the North Downs.

- Downland
Culver Down, Isle of Wight

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Danebury Fort – aerial image

Hampshire

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County in South East England on the coast of the English Channel.

County in South East England on the coast of the English Channel.

Danebury Fort – aerial image
Plaque on Freemantle Common marking the route of the Roman Road from Chichester to Bitterne
Portchester combined Roman and Norman castles
Portsmouth historic dockyard, 2005
South West Hampshire & South East Dorset green belt (shown in green)
New Forest Pony in Burley
Winchester Cathedral
Hampshire County Council offices and Jubilee Fountain
Eastleigh railway works
Southampton Docks
The M3 near Basingstoke
County flag of Hampshire
Milestones Museum, Basingstoke
Ageas Bowl cricket ground, West End, 2010
Fratton Park football ground, Portsmouth, from Milton End, 2006
Former Hampshire Chronicle office in Winchester, circa 1999

There are areas of downland and marsh, and two national parks: the New Forest and part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire.

Stonehenge, the most famous antiquity on Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain

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Chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 sqmi.

Chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 sqmi.

Stonehenge, the most famous antiquity on Salisbury Plain
Rough map of military training area (green) on Salisbury Plain within Wiltshire (blue) (it accounts for about half the area of Salisbury Plain)
Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain
Military use makes some areas of the plain inaccessible to the public.
Typical grassland at Netheravon Down.
The burnt-tip orchid (Neotinea ustulata) can be found on Salisbury Plain
The Duke of Burgundy butterfly (Hamearis lucina)
The cuckoo bee Nomada armata
The fairy shrimp Chirocephalus diaphanus
The stone curlew

The river valleys surrounding it, and other downs and plains beyond them loosely define its boundaries.

Stonehenge

Wiltshire

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Historic and ceremonial county in South West England with an area of 3485 km2.

Historic and ceremonial county in South West England with an area of 3485 km2.

Stonehenge
Cherhill White Horse, east of Calne
The County Ground, Swindon is the home of Swindon Town, the only football league club in Wiltshire
A bridge over the River Avon at Bradford-on-Avon
The flight of 16 locks at Caen Hill on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys.

Corfe Castle, captured and destroyed by Cromwell's army in 1646

Dorset

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County in South West England on the English Channel coast.

County in South West England on the English Channel coast.

Corfe Castle, captured and destroyed by Cromwell's army in 1646
Geological map of Dorset
Durdle Door, a natural arch near Lulworth Cove
The beach near Bournemouth Pier. Dorset's coastline is a major attraction for tourists.
The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester
Traction engines on display at the Great Dorset Steam Fair
Thomas Hardy
Sherborne Abbey

Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys.

Location of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB in the UK

Cranborne Chase

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Chalk plateau in central southern England, straddling the counties Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Chalk plateau in central southern England, straddling the counties Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Location of the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB in the UK
Ashmore pond
Badbury Rings hill fort

The downland has a long history with many earthworks and archaeology from the Neolithic age onwards.

The Hampshire Downs are one of the breadbaskets of Southern England. Here wheat is growing on the free draining chalk downs above Alresford.

Hampshire Downs

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The Hampshire Downs are one of the breadbaskets of Southern England. Here wheat is growing on the free draining chalk downs above Alresford.

The Hampshire Downs form a large area of downland in central southern England, mainly in the county of Hampshire but with parts in Berkshire and Wiltshire.

The top of the downs from above Cerne Abbas, looking south east towards the River Piddle valley

Dorset Downs

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The top of the downs from above Cerne Abbas, looking south east towards the River Piddle valley
Map of Dorset, including the Dorset Downs, showing the geology

The Dorset Downs are an area of chalk downland in the centre of the county Dorset in south west England.

The dip slope of the South Downs, as seen from Angmering Park Estate near Arundel (panoramic view).

South Downs

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The South Downs are a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 sqmi across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, in the Eastbourne Downland Estate, East Sussex, in the east.

The South Downs are a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 sqmi across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, in the Eastbourne Downland Estate, East Sussex, in the east.

The dip slope of the South Downs, as seen from Angmering Park Estate near Arundel (panoramic view).
Geological map of south-east England, with areas that have chalk bedrock shown in light-green.
A north-south cross-section through the Weald-Artois Anticline, East Sussex.
Plan of Cissbury fort showing shafts
The Long Man of Wilmington, inscribed into the scarp face of the South Downs in East Sussex
The Litlington White Horse in the village of Litlington
Looking east along the Downs towards the Devil's Dyke, Sussex
South Downs close to Beachy Head
Trig Point on Kithurst Hill West Sussex. Located on the South Downs Way above the village of Storrington. 699 ft high at the summit.
Typical topography (Treyford Hill): steep wooded northern slope (left), gently sloping southern slope of pasture and woodland.
Photo taken near Lewes, East Sussex

The range is one of the four main areas of chalk downland in southern England.

Carisbrooke Castle just outside Carisbrooke

Isle of Wight

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County and the largest and second-most populous island of England.

County and the largest and second-most populous island of England.

Carisbrooke Castle just outside Carisbrooke
Osborne House and its grounds are now open to the public.
Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight, 1875 painting by Berthe Morisot
Statue of Jimi Hendrix outside Dimbola Lodge
Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight Bob Seely
Detailed map of the Isle of Wight
High Street in Newport, the county town
Graveyard on the grounds of the church in the town of Brading
Fields on the island with the coast of Great Britain in the background
Compton Chine, looking east towards Blackgang
Henry Bates Joel's 1895 artwork 'Bonchurch, near Ventnor, Isle of Wight' is a depiction of rural life on the island. It is exhibited in the Milntown Estate.
The crowd at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is believed to have been 600,000.
One of the Wightlink FastCats which provide a high-speed ferry service between Portsmouth and Ryde
A Southern Vectis Scania OmniDekka bus at Newport bus station
Ordnance Survey map of the island
Geological map of the island
Blackgang Chine, circa 1910
A view of the Needles and Alum Bay

It is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines.

Geology of the South East, chalk is light green (6)

North Downs

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The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent.

The North Downs are a ridge of chalk hills in south east England that stretch from Farnham in Surrey to the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent.

Geology of the South East, chalk is light green (6)
View from North Downs towards Reigate
The exposed chalk workings of the former Betchworth Quarry on the south-facing scarp slope of Box Hill.
A cross-section, showing the Weald Anticline, and relating it to the towns of Kent
Lady orchids growing in calcaerous woodland and scrub, Denge Wood.
Kit's Coty House, a chambered long barrow near Aylesford, Kent, was constructed circa 4000 BCE.
Looking east across Denbies Wine Estate towards Box Hill near Dorking, Surrey.
The North Downs at the Wye Downs National Nature Reserve
The North Downs above Hollingbourne.
A marker on the North Downs Way, Ranscombe Farm, Cuxton, Kent
Bluebells at Ranscombe Farm
Looking East, typical downland scenery in the Medway Gap, Ranscombe Farm
A dry valley on the dip slope of the North Downs near Hucking
Woodland on the North Downs at the Hucking Estate
Typical chalk downland trail near Hollingbourne
A modern metal trail marker near Harrietsham
A view South across the Kent Weald from the North Downs Way near Detling

The Downland of the North Downs consists of distinct lithostratigraphic units (the types of strata, the names of which are always capitalised):