West Berkshire makes up over half of the geographical area of the county of Berkshire - covering an area of 272 square miles. The district is primarily made up of chalk downlands, loosely centred along the lower reaches of the river Kennet, which rises in Wiltshire and flows through to join the Thames at Reading.
The flat floodplain of this river is bordered by fairly steep slopes on each side. Most people within the district live within this valley. To the south, the land rises steeply to line of scarps which form the border with Hampshire. The majority of the district however, lies to the north of the Kennet where the land rises to the Berkshire and Marlborough Downs. This is an area of gently rolling, chalk downland, designated as part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This area is famous for its involvement in horse racing and the consequent ever- present training gallops.
The district of West Berkshire lies on the western fringe of the South East region. It is centrally located, at a crossroads where the South East meets the South West and where the south coast comes up to meet the southern Midlands. As such, the district lies at the convergence of two key road arteries in the south – the M4 and the A34. Both provide direct road links in all directions, with all the key urban centres in southern England (London, Reading, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bristol, Oxford, Swindon) within an hour’s drive.
The district has good rail links, with London less than a hour by train and further connections, via Reading, to all the mainline routes throughout the country. The area also has very good links to international transport hubs: Heathrow and Southampton airport are 40 miles away, as are the ferry terminals in Southampton and Portsmouth, providing links with the continent.
What do we do?
Our primary role is to provide a high level of protection to the community in West Berkshire. We do this through enforcing a range of laws and providing advice and education. In addition to protecting the interests of consumers and reputable businesses we work with key partners such as the Police and Primary Care Trust to support a number of key priorities including: