THE North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is set to be renamed following a national change. 

Starting from Wednesday, November 22, all designated AONBs are becoming 'National Landscapes' with the new name said to 'reflect their national importance'

The North Wessex Downs has also been given a new logo which features the Uffington White Horse – the best-known landscape feature – and one of eight white horses that sit within the designated landscape. 

Henry Oliver, director of North Wessex Downs National Landscape says: “Third-largest of the UK’s National Landscapes, the North Wessex Downs has it all: from characterful villages and sparkling chalk streams, through farmland wildlife and ancient woodland to the high chalk downs. Perhaps most special of all is the sheer richness of ancient monuments and landscapes that still survive, thousands of years after they were shaped by our prehistoric ancestors.

"National Landscapes are protected for the nation – a glorious part of our heritage but also vital to our future. Calling ourselves National Landscapes emphasises these areas’ national importance, deserving of the highest protection. Excitingly, it also represents our ambitious collective mission to collaborate as a network for natural beauty, on behalf of everyone.”

The North Wessex Downs Natural Landscape is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.