Martock Neighbourhood Plan - Natural environment



Ringwell viewLooking North across the village from Ringwell Hill. Little can be seen of the village other than the church as it sits in the bottom of a shallow valley. The rising land around Foldhill Lane can be seen to the right and, in the distant haze in the centre, the Mendips

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Our Natural Environment

The countryside around Martock

Martock is on the edge of where the Yeovil Scarpland to the east joins the Levels to the west. A typical English village, it was built in the valley enclosed by a few hills and hugs the bottom of the valley between them. The houses were built close together with a church, a school and an inn in the centre. The hills rise typically to around 60m and most of the village is between 10 and 20m. It is divided by Hurst Brook which drains from the east down to the Levels.

The houses traditionally have had long thin gardens, many on the sides of the hills. These used to be plots for vegetables and chickens and further up the hillside were orchards with pigs and the family cow, all enclosed by ancient hedges, a few of which remain. Further out on level land there are the medieval communal strip fields, many of which can still be seen.

The larger farms were built mainly further up the hillsides and larger fields were created on the tops.

This pattern is clearly visible today. The higher land around Martock and Bower Hinton provides an important undeveloped edge to the settlement. This edge creates some fine views looking across the village, down into it, up from within it, and also looking down on the village from Ham Hill. What is often surprising about these views is how well hidden the 2000 or more houses that make up the village are.

All this is clearly described in detail in the Martock Peripheral Landscape Study which is described here and can be downloaded.

What will be in the Neighbourhood Plan?

The Neigbourhood Plan will have policies on the following themes:

• Green spaces
• Access to the countyside
• Landscapes and Views
• Flooding and drainage
• Biodiversity conservation.

Follow the links on the right.

The Martock Environment Manual

The Neighbourhood Plan makes reference to the Martock Environment Manual wherever further information is required. This is a working document that will be continually updated and provides data on the natural environment of the whole parish, including a Phase 1 overview of the most significant habitats. It also contains further destails on the more significant views around the village. The Environment Manual can be downloaded here


Landscape Study
Download the Martock Peripheral Landscape Study here

Flooding and drainage.
This is a complex matter that includes flood risk analysis and also sustainable drainage plans for all new developments. More details here.

Green Spaces
Certain kinds of 'green space' can be officially protected from development. They have to meet criteria. We proposed to do this with some of ours. More details here

Biodiversity conservation
We are gradually building a habitat database and maps covering the whole parish. We need help with this from people who walk regularly More details - follow this link

Landscapes around the village
The landscape around villages can be protected from development under National Policy unless good reason is found for overriding the policy.

The landscape around the village is described futher here

The Martock Environment Manual
The latest version of the Martock Environment Manual can be downloaded here

We are building a collection of photographs of views to show where the important landscape is. Send photographs to telling us where you took the photo.

Some of our finest views are shown here.

Cartgate Nature Area
A spin-off from the Neighbourhood Plan is the revival and management of the Cargate Nature Area established in the 1980s but since has become chocked with just a few species. Details here.