Itchen Valley Parish Council is one of the largest Parish Councils in the Winchester District.
There are almost 1100 voters on the electoral roll.
The Parish is in beautiful rolling chalk downland and is part of the upper catchment of the River Itchen, one of only 210 such chalk streams in the world. Avington and Easton lie to the south and Itchen Abbas and Martyr Worthy to the north of the River.
The Parish’s outstanding ecological, heritage and aesthetic value is recognised by the parish’s many conservation designations for both wildlife and buildings:
Most of the Parish lies within the South Downs National Park. There are several conservation areas and a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In addition, part of the River Itchen has been nominated as a European Special Area of Conservation.
Many of the villages have Conservation Area status with over 100 listed buildings reflecting a rich history. Many celebrities are associated with the valley including Lord Grey, linked to the River Itchen and Watercress Line, and Avington’s more famous guests: Charles II and Nell Gwynne. No longer accessible is a famous tree called The Gospel Oak!
To get out and enjoy our beautiful countryside and picturesque villages, a rich network of historic rights of way awaits, with many footpaths, although most bridleways and byways are to the north of the river reflecting centuries of livestock droving.
Several long distance waymarked routes for walkers pass through the parish: St Swithun’s Way, Itchen Way, Watercress Way, Allan King Way, Wayfarers Way and also (not waymarked) The Grey-Roosevelt Centenary Walk, Three Castles Path and Pilgrims’ Way. Some are suitable for cyclists and horse riders as well: The Oxdrove Way and South Downs Way.
Please follow the Countryside Code. This includes a refresher/summary on the signage for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.