|LCT5 River Valley Floor||
LCA5F Wallop Brook Valley Floor
The Wallop Brook Valley Floor is a narrow valley with a relatively shallow gradient with variations in scale and character that typify the landscape character. Where the Wallop Brook joins the Test River, the valley floor is broad and enclosed, with open valley sides. Higher up the valley beyond Broughton the valley floor changes character and becomes a lot narrower and small scale, including a series of pools.
Small-scale patchwork of settlements, smallholdings, riverside meadows, pastures and woodland.
Wallop Brook Valley Floor follows Wallop Brook from Over Wallop to where it joins the River Test at Bossington.
Local Physical Influences
Geology and Soils: Alluvium.
Landform: Small and narrow ‘V’ shaped valley, opening out at Middle Wallop and as the Wallop Brooks approaches its confluence with the River Test.
Drainage: Braided stream with numerous small ponds.
Local Biodiversity and Vegetation Pattern
The dominant pattern in this area is permanent pasture with patches of woodland. There is a diverse flora and fauna particularly in those habitats associated with seasonal or permanent waterlogging. Many of the wet meadows are typical traditional grazed hay meadows that are becoming increasingly rare due to agricultural pressures. They are dominated by fine-leaved grasses such as Red Fescue, Crested Dogs-tail and Velvet Bent, with a variety of flowering plants including White Clover, Red Clover, Birds-foot Trefoil, Knapweed, Bulbous Buttercup, Yarrow, Yellow Rattle, Selfheal and Oxeye Daisy, and can include frequent orchids such as Bee Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid, Pyramidal Orchid, Southern Marsh Orchid, and Early Purple Orchid. Wetter areas include Yellow Flag, Water avens, King cup, and Milkmaids. Other notable habitats include areas of wet carr woodland, which with hedgerows, link to patches of ancient and semi-natural woodland and provide an important resource.
Local Historical Influences
Catchwork water meadows (Type 1) extend along much of the Wallop Brook taking advantage of its relatively steep valley sides and over valley floor gradient. They continue north to Nether Wallop but extend no further. Other miscellaneous valley floor enclosures occur along the Wallop and extend through the village of Broughton.
Wallop Brook Valley Floor extends through several historic settlement cores; Broughton, Nether Wallop, Middle Wallop and Over Wallop. Each of these historic settlements has occupied the narrow valley floor although over time post medieval and modern developments have extended these settlements up onto the surrounding downland.
The Wallop villages have, during the 19th century, become connected along the main road which extends along the valley floor to form an extensive settlement at the northern end of the Wallop valley with three independent historic cores. The historic core of Broughton flanks the Wallop Brook to the west and much of the later 19th century settlement also extends along this western bank.
The few farmsteads which occupy areas close to or on the valley floor often face each other across the Wallop Brook. In these instances access to water is important in the siting of farmsteads and their fields which extend one way back from the river valley.
Local Settlements and Features of Built Form
Broughton (South western portion): Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Middle Wallop Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Nether Wallop Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Over Wallop: Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Traditional buildings are commonly half timbered with thatch. Chalk cob boundary walls with thatch and tiled copings are a distinctive feature in these villages.
The old chalk pits close to the cottages are a distinctive feature of the valley but there is concern about the future of these pits. The chalk walls with thatch and tiled copings are a much valued feature of the valley.
Remoteness and Tranquillity
Intimate, enclosed and tranquil character generally unspoilt but with some localized intrusion of roads and sub-urbanizing influences.
Rich mosaic of small holdings, riverside meadows and pastures, scrub and carr woodland, willow lined ditches and wetland habitats
An intimate area, with localised sub-urbanising influences, contrasting with the adjacent open arable landscape
Wet alluvial shallow valley floor dominated by pasture with a strong sense of intimacy and tranquillity
Poplar, alder and willow lined watercourses
Chalk walls with thatch and tiled roofs and copings within settlements
Catchwork water meadows are to be found along the length of the Wallop Brook and extend up to just south of Nether Wallop
String of settlements including Broughton and the Wallops, predominantly of linear development moving up the valley sides
The valley floor at Broughton in contrast retains several miscellaneous valley floor enclosures, which run through the heart of the village. The historic core of the settlement has developed upon the western bank of the Wallop Brook.
Local Natural and Cultural Landscape Issues
Pollution of the river and its tributaries through fertiliser run off and aqua culture ventures (fish farms, water cress beds).
4 SINCs, including running water (Wallop Brook) and adjacent vegetation, including agriculturally unimproved grassland, reedbeds and broadleaved woodland