The North Wessex Downs is a visibly ancient landscape of great beauty, diversity and size.
It embraces the high, open arable sweeps of the chalk downs and dramatic scarp slopes with their prehistoric monuments and Beech knolls, the moulded dip slopes, sheltered chalk river valleys; intimate and secluded wooded areas and low-lying heaths with a rich mosaic of woodland, pasture, heath and commons. The North Wessex Downs form a surprisingly remote, expansive and tranquil landscape in the heart of southern England.
However the North Wessex Downs is not one, but several, landscapes and it is this diversity and stark contrast in some cases that gives this area its special character and distinctiveness. The special qualities include: