Oliver's Battery, Winchester
OS Map 186, Grid Ref SU467253 (meeting place)
Client: Butterfly Conservation
Yew Hill is a pleasant mixture of open chalk grassland, ancient hedgerows, groves of trees and medieval ditches. This enables a rich variety of plants and animals to thrive here in its sunny sheltered conditions. Obviously butterflies are the main concern of the reserve's management regime and Yew Hill is most notable for its populations of Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Essex Skipper and Marbled White butterfly. It also has a diverse flora, which includes Fragrant, Pyramidal, Bee and Frog orchids as well as Clustered Bellflower, Squinancywort and Sainfoin.
Our next task is likely to be scrub management to preserve the areas of open chalk downland.
Meet at 10am in the first lay-by in Hurdle Way, Compton Down.
From the south come off the M3 at J12, cross the M3 and take the first exit off the roundabout. Take the next right into Winchester Road towards Otterbourne. Follow this road north, over a roundabout and eventually back over the M3. Take the next left, Hurdle Way immediately after crossing the M3.
From the north, leave the M3 at J11 and turn right back under the M3. Turn left up hill and then right at the next roundabout. At the next roundabout turn left into Otterbourne Road, this will eventually drop down into Compton before rising again. At the top of the hill, before you cross the M3 turn right into Hurdle Way.