Purpose and Scope
This assessment is produced to describe and illustrate the intrinsic value of our landscape: to define why the village and rural character of this area of the East Hampshire countryside should be protected, conserved in perpetuity and enhanced where possible.
We intend this document to be the authentic and valid voice of the village, and that it should become an integral part of any Neighbourhood Plan for the area, to inform decisions which may adversely affect the existing character of the landscape.
This LLCA has been generated enthusiastically by residents of the village who have had help and guidance from experts within HCC Landscape/Heritage, SDNPA Landscape, EHDC Landscape, The National Trust and the CPRE. We have been particularly lucky in having relevant experts living within the village who have made a very significant contribution.
The LLCA project was launched publicly on the 30th of January, 2011, jointly with the Selborne Village Plan, at a Village Hall Open Day, where there were two main initiatives to engage village-wide interest in the LLCA. The first was to recruit volunteers for the project, and the second broadly to gauge the level of interest of the village in its landscape. This proved successful on both counts.
Thirty four villagers volunteered to help the project. Forty eight villagers (from a total attending of over one hundred and fifty), completed a questionnaire detailing their favourite places in and around the village. The level of interest in the landscape was extremely high, with the 48 identifying 39 beauty spots, and casting a total of almost one thousand votes for places they particularly liked.
The volunteer group was organised during February and March with meetings, including briefing sessions from HCC Landscape/Heritage. As a result, a Core Team of nine was formed comprising field survey area leaders, plus four specialists to help with the vetting process and cover the technical aspects. The village and surroundings were divided into six areas for survey purposes, and a leader allocated to each.
During the following months, each leader organised locations and announced dates for field surveys to the whole volunteer group, using email exclusively across the village. The field notes documentation for the field surveys was customised by the team, but called on information generated by both the CPRE and HCC.
Over forty surveys were conducted, each of approximately two hours, and the group size varied from two to eleven volunteers, with an average of over four.
All field survey reports have been submitted to the complete Core Group, for comment and vetting by the specialist group that includes: a geologist/historian, two landscape archaeologists, a geographer, an architect and two agriculturists.
The project momentum has been maintained by the good chemistry of the Core Group, which met monthly to review progress and set action plans, culminating in the production of this document. A full set of minutes is on record.
(Assistance has been provided by the following organisations and our thanks are extended to all. Hampshire County Council, Landscape/Heritage Dept., East Hampshire District Council, Landscape Dept., South Downs National Parks Authority, Landscape Dept., The National Trust, East Hampshire Community Action Group, CPRE, The Selborne Association, Selborne Parish Council)
The Selborne Character Areas
The village and its immediate environs share three distinct landscape character areas, as defined by the East Hampshire Landscape Character Assessment for the whole district. This has recently been integrated with others to construct a complete Landscape Character Assessment for the South Downs National Park Authority. The Character Areas are given type references on maps, and those relevant to Selborne are extracted from the EHDC LCA Areas 5c, 3c, and 6a. This Local LCA sets out to describe these areas in detail, to show how they influence our lives, which aspects we value and our reasons why they are valued. To explain what we have, it is necessary to combine the information on the ground with an aerial view provided by OS Explorer 133, a lot of photography, including aerial, and some imagination. Seen from above the dominant feature, Selborne Hill is a giant arrow head pointing east: it is very distinctive, and has shaped much of this document, particularly in navigating within each character area. The approximate zones for each area are as follows.
Area 5c: The Selborne Scarp covers the north and south leading ridges of the east facing Selborne Hanger arrow head, plus the base of the Chalk scarp on the north face. Shown in pink on the EHDC map.
Area 3c : The Downland Mosaic area covers the base of the scarp on the south face and the entire western section of the parish, almost up to the B3006 road, except in the extreme north end. Shown in beige on the EHDC map.
Area 6a: The Greensand Terrace area covers the entire eastern side of the parish, plus a small area in the north west of Norton. An area of Gault Clay covers the higher area of the Greensand Hangers. On the EHDC map the upper terrace is pale green, the greensand hangers are dark green with grey Gault cap.