At the junction between the Hampshire Downs and the Weald are the East Hampshire Hangers, named after the ancient woodlands which seem to hang onto the steep slope. Wick Hill Hanger is one of the steepest parts, with various types of woodland and an impresssive range of plants. A rare lichen, Usnea articulata looking like a string of sausages, has been found here.
Although it's in private ownership, there are good reasons for our involvement. The hanger is part of a string of SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest), the East Hampshire Hangers are designated as a SAC (Special Area of Conservation) under European legislation, and they are now part of the South Downs National Park. The Hangers Way passes through the woodlands.
The geology holding it all up is the Upper Greensand formation, containing Malmstone, a hard calcareous sandstone. At the bottom of the scarp are more woodlands, but on the water-logged Gault Clay.
Our first task of path clearance along the Hangers Way was done, so we turned our attention to the unusual task of righting a hazel stool which had received a bash from another tree. It should survive, if rather crooked.
We returned in 2012 and 2013 for hedgelaying alongside the lane, hence the reflective waistcoats. Thanks to Laura Parnell and Peter Hogan for these pictures.
In November we will be carrying out essential woodland management to include coppicing and ride widening to further improve this impressive site and its flora and fauna.
Meet at 10am. From the B3006 Selborne to Alton road, turn off at the crossroads to West Worldham. Bear right through the village and then through Hartley Mauditt. After a descent and bends to the right and left, take the first track right (on the Hangers Way), which has the wood above it, and the cottages called Candovers below it. Park after 100m in very limited places. Look out for our yellow flags.