OS Map 196, Grid Ref SU527070 (meeting place)
Client: Hampshire C.C. Countryside Service
Among the ever-increasing urban sprawl that has swallowed up Segensworth, Titchfield and Locksheath, a ribbon of nature can be found. This is Kites Croft reserve, which straddles the Brownwich Stream as it heads towards Southampton Water. The Croft was probably once a small rough field in deep woodland bordering the stream, and kites both red and black may well have been in the area, hence the name.
In spite of all the encroachment, Kites Croft is remarkably ancient, with a rich flora and fauna and a surprising range of habitats and scenery. This includes woodland, marsh and bog, acid grassland and heath. The site is now managed by Hampshire County Council's Countryside Service.
For more information see their website: Kites Croft.
Part of our work here has been recoppicing an area of former coppice woodland. This entails felling the old coppice stools and allowing them to regrow to improve the age range of the coppice and ensure its future survival. It also favours a great range of plants and animals who all have particular niches in coppice of differing ages.
We have also helped in the construction of a very long boardwalk alongside the stream, to avoid excessive damage to the ground in wet weather.
Revetments made from bundles of hazel coppice stems were staked into place to help control erosion by the stream. We had the most rain for many months.
Meet at 10am in the rear car park of Dunelm Mill (172-174 Southampton Road) off Primate Road. Take the A27 eastbound from J9 of the M27. After just over a mile you will come to a minor roundabout. Turn right here (the last exit) into Warsash Road. At the next roundabout turn right into Primate Road and the car park is towards the end of the road on the right. Look out for our yellow signs.