Between Tadley, Pamber Heath, Silchester, Little London and Pamber Green
Client: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
This remnant of the Royal Forest of Windsor that was traditionally used to provide timber for local crafts and industries, but is now managed for conservation and amenity. Its 194 hectares are predominantly oak and birch, with hazel coppice with areas of heathland and alder carr in the stream valleys. The heath and wood pasture on the eastern side are a contrast to the woodland areas, and the numerous ponds are host to many dragonflies. This area is grazed by cattle throughout the year, while the woodland is under coppice management and a programme of thinning to promote a better age structure.
On the woodland floor, particularly in the stream valleys, plants such as wild daffodil, Solomon's-seal, orpine and star-of-Bethlehem can be found. Pamber is also rich in butterflies that make the most of its wide, sunlit rides. Purple emperor, white admiral, silver-washed fritillary and purple hairstreak can all be found. Three species of woodpecker, woodcock and a variety of warblers are some birds of note, and there are several species of bat.
See also Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's guide to Pamber Forest
Past work has included stream restoration, coppicing hazel and building dead hedges to protect the regrowth from deer. Coppicing is a traditional form of sustainable woodland management that is extremely beneficial to the Forest's flora and fauna, which has adapted to this form of management over thousands of years. In January 2017 we will be coppicing an area of hazel. Coppicing is a traditional form of sustainable woodland management that is extremely beneficial to the Forest's flora and fauna, which has adapted to this form of management over thousands of years.
This area on the north-east side of Pamber Forest was acquired in February 2001 with the aid of a legacy from Gwen Talmay, in line with the national policy of thinking big and expanding existing reserves. Separated from Pamber Forest by a thin strip of Silchester Common, its 18.5 hectares comprise various types of woodland and contain some notable woodland banks. Twenty or so Cricket-bat Willows, Salix 'Coerulea' are still managed by the previous owner for the production of - you guessed it - cricket bats. A damp meadow with a pond lies between the copse and Pamber Forest, dominated by Sharp Rush but with various grasses and wetland flowers. Taking the two sites together, the wide variety of habitats support a rich and diverse range of invertebrates and plants.
See also Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's guide to Upper Inhams Copse
Meet at 10am at the Honey Mill Lane car park (grid ref SU612617). Take the A340 Aldermaston Road from Basingstoke. As you enter Tadley you will come to a roundabout, turn right here, third exit, into Rowan Road. Follow this to the end and then turn left into Pamber heath Road. Honey Mill Lane, which is no more than a track, is about 200 metres on your right. If you reach Burney Bit Road you have gone too far. Follow the track until you see a car park on your right and a gate into Pamber Forest.