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 replacing the board walks will start on 4th September. As a result the Southern end of Hocombe Mead will be closed to the public for about 4 weeks. The map below shows in red the closed paths.
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 on Trees in Hocombe Mead on Wednesday 23rd August from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm for young people aged 3 to 10 years. Follow a tree trail through the woods and see how many trees you can identify. Examine the interesting patterns of bark and make bark rubbings. Use the distance around a tree trunk to estimate a tree's age.