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River Whitewater and its Valley

The River Whitewater runs from its source at Bidden to its confluence with the River Blackwater in North-East Hampshire.  This represents approximately nine miles of chalk stream, which is important at an international level.

The Water Framework Directive identifies the river as a main water body and a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC).  Natural England and the Environment Agency recognise a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest  (SSSI) along the length of the river.  These designations afford statutory protection.

Hart District Council’s Landscape Character Assessment defines the special character of the valley, recognising the centuries which have moulded the river’s course from Greywell to Riseley.

The local planning authority has a duty to protect the river.  It should also ensure that any plans protect and enhance the environment and its biodiversity.  Any development which could affect the river’s biodiversity, and specifically species identified in the Biodiversity Action Plan, must be assessed.

The Whitewater valley contains many listed buildings and heritage assets. These are also entitled to protection, as specified in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Whitewater Valley Preservation Society

The vision of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society is to protect the River Whitewater and its valley.  Our mission is to defend the valley from inappropriate development and its resultant impact on the river.

Founder members formed the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society in 1980.  Our aim is to raise objections to unacceptable development proposals, which pose a significant threat to the health of the river and the landscape of its valley. Threats to the River Whitewater and its valley are ever more present today.


Currently there are over 250 members of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society.  Our members include individuals, local interest groups, parish councils and riparian owners along the River Whitewater.  You are invited to join us as a member of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society.

As a member, you will be invited to attend our Annual General Meeting and at least one other exclusive membership event a year.  These events provide an opportunity to hear current updates on subjects as diverse as strategic planning developments and the status of the River Whitewater.  All we request is a modest annual membership subscription.

The Whitewater Valley Preservation Society’s Committee has long term concerns about the impact of further development in the countryside of the Valley.  We have therefore joined with others to support the Rural Hart Association (RHA) to work for a more sustainable long term strategy. 

Solar Farm proposals in the Whitewater Valley

Five utility scale 50MW solar farm schemes in the vicinity of Hook, Odiham, Greywell, Upton Grey and Long Sutton in Hart District are currently being promoted by different developers.  Four of these solar farm proposals are in the Whitewater Valley, which would have an impact on the countryside and landscape of the Valley, the ecological quality of the River Whitewater chalk stream, and its natural amenity value.  

The three solar farm proposals are as follows (click on the links to read the latest updates on each):

  • Bunkers Hill, Rotherwick , for which a full planning application is in process.  Please read the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society’s objection in response to this application.
  • Chosley Farm, Bidden Road, North Warnborough , for which a full planning application is in process.  Please read the Whitewater Valley preservation Society’s objection in response to this application.
  • Ford Farm, Upton Grey, for which a full planning application has not yet been submitted.

Whilst solar farms generate renewable energy, the scale and location of each of these applications, as well as the cumulative impact of five industrial scale solar schemes in proximity, need to be considered.

Contact us

To contact the Committee of the Whitewater Valley Preservation Society, enquire about becoming a member, or request further information, please send an email or use the Contact Form in the panel.

Report an environmental incident

Please report any environmental incident affecting the River Whitewater to the  Environment Agency incident hotline
Telephone: 0800 80 70 60
24-hour service

Report a flooding incident

Please report any leaks, blockages or overflowing sewers and drains immediately by contacting Thames Water on 0800 316 9800 and press option 2, then 2  again.

Please report any flooding incidents later by completing Thames Water’s sewer flooding questionnaire.

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