Cotmans Corner, off Hook Road, Greywell
Grid ref SU724525
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 at Cotmans Corner (This is a local name, not found on all maps). From the M3, junction 5 take the A287 south towards Odiham. As you turn onto the dual carriageway off junction 5 get into the outside lane and take the first right into Hook Road towards Greywell. After about 500 metres turn right onto a small track and follow it to the end. Look out for our yellow signs.