This is the web site of the Friends of Hocombe Mead.
Hocombe Mead is a local nature reserve which is owned and managed by Eastleigh Borough Council with the support of the Friends of Hocombe Mead.
Hocombe Mead is an area of historic woodland and meadow, which is situated between Ashdown Road and Hocombe Road, under the ownership of Eastleigh Borough Council. This varied site comprises an area of 8.33 hectares, which includes mixed woodland and ancient meadows, with small areas of valley bog and remnants of heathland.
We were very pleassed to hear that the application for a grant from Veolia for replacing the board walks at the Hiltingbury Road end has been successful.. It was nice to see interest in this from Thats Solent on television. The work will be done in late summer.
As part of the submission for this grant, a survey needed to be completed to show how many people use the Mead and whether they support the grant application. We had a magnificent response to this survey. We had very little notice of the survey but we had 308 responses in the bare week that was available.
Our last task day on Thursday 13th April concentrated on tidying up before the summer. Repairs were made to the fencing in readiness for the cattle, the heather near the carved oak was weeded, the board walk in the north meadow was improved and a team cut back encroaching bramble and removed litter. Unfortunately one of this team lost her car keys. We would be most grateful if anyone finding these keys would email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Hocombe's two meadows are species rich. The North Meadow has a strong colony of Ringlet butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus) and an abundance of purple loosestrife. The meadows form the central area through the reserve. Wet during some months of the year, the ground conditions can prove difficult to walk them with ease. However, they provide a rich habitat for plants and wildlife and are home to a range of butterflies. Cattle graze the North Meadow during the summer months whilst the south meadow is mechanically cut in sections.
Parts of the woodland are over 400 years old, featuring on old maps as far back as 1588, when it was known as Eagle's Copse. The meadow, which is also shown on the 1588 map, is the largest open space in Hocombe, which is relatively flat and in the summer is fairly well drained. Together, this wooded stream valley and meadow hold considerable value for both local amenity and wildlife.
Our next event will be Christmas at Hocombe Mead on Friday 16th December from 5.45pm to 7.30pm. There will be Christmas songs, the opportunity for children to decorate a lantern, seasonal refreshments and a magical candle lit walk through the woods. For further details of this event, please see our Events page.
Every month we publish a What to See page which shows the location of interesting things to see in the Mead. This page can be seen in the noitice boards at the three entrances to the Mead. This can also be seen, together with a more detailed I Spy page by visiting the What to See page of this web site.