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Since last year’s bonfire on Steep Common, we have pruned the trees and bushes in the area to enlarge the space for the bonfire and to position it further from the central oak tree (which has a Tree Preservation Order on it).

The bonfire will be a little smaller and further pruning in the firework area should allow the fumes to escape more easily and improve the comfort and safety of the fireworks team.

The picture below shows the damage on the right-hand side of the tree and the uneven crown resulting from previous years’ bonfires.

Bonfire placement

Work on Steep’s Local Landscape Character Assessment began in late 2010 and the final report was published on 20th October 2012.

Starting with the broad landscape classification commissioned by the EHDC, the Local Landscape Character Assessment documents the local landscape in more detail through field surveys (in both words and pictures); desk research; interviews with local experts involved in managing the landscape; and public consultation through exhibitions and the Parish Survey. It also assembled other kinds of information from a wide variety of sources such as the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre and archaeological records held by Hampshire County Council.

Field information was collected by local residents using standardised forms with “tick-boxes” and open-ended areas, capturing the landscape elements (views, sounds, AND smells …) as well as changes over time, and potential or actual threats. Lots of photos were taken and a selection of these can be seen on another page of this website.

The forms enabled the surveyor to record and describe the following elements:

  • Feelings and associations
  • Historic features (e.g. banks, ancient trees, archaeological sites)
  • Other man-made features (e.g. industry, tourism, infrastructure)
  • Characteristic features of houses and settlements
  • Characteristic features and patterns of agriculture and forestry, hedges
  • Land cover (vegetation, trees, wildlife, habitats)
  • Soil type and use
  • Land form
  • Climate & hydrology, rivers, ponds
  • Rocks (surface geology)

A separate Form was used to describe linear features such as footpaths, tracks and lanes.

You can read the results of all of this work in the final report of the assessment team.

The contents of the report are as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Landscape History
  3. The Landscape Today
  4. Biodiversity
  5. Our Landscape Appraisal Process
    • Field Surveys
    • Some Statistics
    • Capturing the landscape character
    • Principal views and features
  6. Public Opinion
  7. Expert Opinion
    • South Downs National Park Ranger
    • Hampshire Countryside Service Manager
    • Parish Tree Warden
  8. Aspects of Landscape Management
    • Trees and woodland
    • Forestry and timber management
    • Incremental change
    • Agriculture and farming
    • Turf Production
    • Smallholdings
    • Equestrian activities
    • Recreation
  9. Relationships with the South Downs National Park Authority
  10. Landscape Management Priorities and Design Guidance
  11. Conclusions

Click on the link below to read or download a copy of the full report:

(You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file).

The statistical and narrative details from the field work can be accessed below: