The owners of Warnford Park, in the Meon River valley, have consent to plant up to 104 hectares of woodland on land that has been used for dairy and arable production. The land planted with trees will provide a means of mitigating and reducing the nutrient impact of planned housing, as well as creating new habitats for wildlife. The first phase scheme will deliver 3,486 kg/N credits with the potential to offset the building of 3,000 – 4,000 houses. The estate owners have engaged with key stakeholders including Natural England, Forestry Commission, South Downs National Park Authority, Hampshire County Archaeologist, direct neighbours, and the Parish Council seeking advice about the design of the woodland. They have also carried out extensive assessments of soils, ecology, and landscape sensitivities. The scheme is one of the largest lowland woodland planting schemes to come forward in a number of years, and will lead to wider carbon and biodiversity benefits. The woodland and its associated public access will deliver wider benefits for the local community and visitors.

The project is available for developers seeking nitrate mitigation in the Solent region.  It has full planning permission and will be monitored by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The Warnford Park nitrate offset solution can be used to offset nitrates arising from new development schemes that drain to the following wastewater treatment works:

  • Peel Common Waste Water Treatment Works
  • Budds Farm Waste Water Treatment Works
  • Ashlett Creek Waste Water Treatment Works
  • Any other wastewater treatment works as agreed in writing by Natural England.
  • For schemes with their own on-site WWT plant that discharges into the River Meon or its tributaries

The Warnford Park scheme is authorised by Natural England to serve the East Hampshire Rivers Catchment. Nitrate credits purchased can be used to mitigate nitrate offset obligations in the following local authority areas with whom Section 106 agreements have been signed:

  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Gosport Borough Council
  • Havant Borough Council
  • East Hampshire District Council
  • Winchester City Council
  • South Downs National Park Authority

The amount of nitrate credits that a development requires is calculated by a formula based on the output of nitrates from the development. A nutrient budget needs to be calculated by the applicant – the nutrient neutrality calculation requires key inputs and assumptions based on the best available scientific evidence and research. The Warnford Park tree planting scheme can be used as part of your appropriate assessment.

Local Authority Locations


East Hampshire District Council


Fareham Borough Council


Gosport Borough Council


Havant Borough Council


Winchester City


South Downs National
Park Authority
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