South West Wiltshire
The Mere Community Area covers 101km2 of mainly rural countryside in the south west of Wiltshire. It is dominated by one settlement, the ancient market town of Mere, and comprises seven parishes.
The community area lies on the ancient Wessex Ridgeway and many archaeological finds have been made of stone and Iron Age implements. To the east of Mere the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty skirts the eastern and northern part of the community area.
The town offers an unusallly extensive range of convenience stores, boutiques and an electrical emporium, restaurants, service providers, hotels, as well as many well known local businesses operating on The Old Quarry Trading Estate. Zeals village has a trading estate based on a wartime airfield site. The other villages have small businesses associated with agriculture, retail and IT.
Tisbury Community Area is made up of 16 rural parishes in the south west of Wiltshire and Tisbury is the largest village in the Community Area.
The parishes that surround Tisbury are primarily made up of rural villages and farms. The changing face and fortunes of agriculture has played a great part in sculpting the present landscape. There has been an increasing emphasis on tourism in the area in recent years.
The Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), covers the entire community area. The road network is dominated by the A303 to the north and the A30 from Salisbury to Shaftesbury and the majority of the village link roads are very minor.
The Wilton Community Area covers 174.9km2 hectares of rural countryside in the south west of Wiltshire. There is only one large settlement, Wilton itself, which may have given the County of Wiltshire its name.
Once the capital of Wessex, the town which prospered well before Salisbury even existed had its main heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wilton House, part of The Pembroke Estate, continues to be a major draw for tourists coming into the area.
The town of Wilton serves as the main service centre for the community area although for a greater range of shops and facilities it has always been overshadowed by the City of Salisbury just three miles to the east. The rest of the community area, which covers 15 parishes, is very rural in nature consisting of small villages and isolated hamlets. Much of it has large tracts of chalk down land associated with parts of Cranborne Chase to the south. The area has 20 out of Wiltshire’s 135 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.