This paper demonstrates how a traditional land-based cluster provides significant economic and environmental benefits to a local economy and for a protected landscape. The focus is the group of businesses that have clustered around the North Wessex Downs (NWD) in Southern England and which are engaged in activities supporting the horseracing industry (HRI). A review of the literature on competitiveness and economic clusters is provided and indicates the need for more attention to be paid to the sustainability credentials of such industry clusters. This should form part of the wider discussion about economic development and agglomeration economies, as well as in developing so-called 'underachieving' clusters. The paper contends that there is a clear need to better understand traditional land-based clusters and an opportunity to maximise economic and other benefits.