OS Explorer 144, Grid ref SU728521
Client: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
This is part of the Trust's empire of scattered fragments of land between North Warnborough and Hook. Until about 1870, North-east Hampshire was one of the least populated districts of Southern England, with a well-preserved ninth century landscape. The North Warnborough Greens are flower-rich wet meadows fed by the calcareous River Whitewater. In the northern part are a series of water-filled gravel workings.
The Greens lie in the Whitewater Valley, just south of the acid heaths at Bartley and Hook. The river derives its name not from the clarity of its water, but from the deposits of calcareous tufa by its waters. The unreclaimed fens either side of the river are very rich in rare flowers, and become increasingly magnificent in their profusion of rarities as the passes onto the neutral clays and acid sands at the edge of the Hampshire Basin. Recent years have witnessed the destruction of many of these meadows by road building and suburban expansion. With only 1% of England's unimproved meadows left, the Green is worth the substantial attention that HIWWT has devoted to it in order to re-establish common grazing.
In September we will be clearing an area of scrub that is threatening to re-invade these precious meadows.
Meet at 10am in Mill Lane on the North Green. From junction 5 of the M3 take the A387 southbound towards Odiham. At the next roundabout turn right onto the B3349 for Warnborough and Odiham, and then immediately right into Mill Lane. Keep bearing right until you emerge onto the Green. Park either side of the road but avoid blocking the residents. Do not come via the fords unless you have a boat! Look out for our yellow signs.