This is the web site of the Friends of Hocombe Mead.
Hocombe Mead is a local nature reserve which is owned and managed by Eastleigh Borough Council with the support of the Friends of Hocombe Mead.
Hocombe Mead is an area of historic woodland and meadow, which is situated between Ashdown Road and Hocombe Road, under the ownership of Eastleigh Borough Council. This varied site comprises an area of 8.33 hectares, which includes mixed woodland and ancient meadows, with small areas of valley bog and remnants of heathland.
Thanks to a grant from Veolia, the board walks have now been replaced and Hocombe Mead is now fully open again.
The board walks being formally opened by Councillor Pamela Holden-Brown, the Chairman of the Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury Local Area Committee. With her are Jon Milliken, a director of the contractor Aquascience Ltd, and Hazel Lankester, the Chairman of the Friends of Hocombe Mead.
Hocombe's two meadows are species rich. The North Meadow has a strong colony of Ringlet butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus) and an abundance of purple loosestrife. The meadows form the central area through the reserve. Wet during some months of the year, the ground conditions can prove difficult to walk them with ease. However, they provide a rich habitat for plants and wildlife and are home to a range of butterflies. Cattle usually graze the North Meadow during the summer months whilst the south meadow is mechanically cut in sections.
Parts of the woodland are over 400 years old, featuring on old maps as far back as 1588, when it was known as Eagle's Copse. The meadow, which is also shown on the 1588 map, is the largest open space in Hocombe, which is relatively flat and in the summer is fairly well drained. Together, this wooded stream valley and meadow hold considerable value for both local amenity and wildlife.
Every month we publish a What to See page which shows the location of interesting things to see in the Mead. This page can be seen in the noitice boards at the three entrances to the Mead. This can also be seen, together with a more detailed I Spy page by visiting the What to See page of this web site.
Our next event will be our annual Christmas Event on Friday 15th December from 5.45 pm to 7.30pm. Join in with singing Christmas carols and songs. Children may like to decorate a lantern. Enjoy festive refreshement and then follow our candle-lit walk through the woods. For more details please see our events page.
The weather forecast is good so we will be going ahead with the Christmas Event. The ground is mostly firm for the candle lit walk but there is a muddy patch so boots will be necessary for those going on the walk. A torch would be useful.
Two cattle arrived in the North Meadow in August and two more arrived more recently. Two more arrived aat the end of September. For more details please see our What to See page.