Location:Deacon Hill, Chilcomb, nr. Winchester, SO21 1HR. OS Explorer 132, Grid ref 510278
When: Sunday 29th July
Where: Deacon Hill, Chilcomb, nr. Winchester, SO21 1HR. OS Explorer 132, Grid ref 510278
Task: Scrub management
Leader: Bryan Parnell
Deacon Hill forms part of the north facing scarp that rise above the village of Chilcombe, facing Magdalen hill, the butterfly Conservation Reserve that HCV has often worked on over the years. The site is part Saint Kildas farm, which has been run by the Fordyce family for many years. Although the woodland at the base of the scarp is ancient the remainder is secondary woodland encroaching on a valuable piece of chalk downland. In the past BTCV often worked here clearing the scrub, but since the demise of their working groups its been left to a few sheep to battle with the ever advancing tide of scrub. Despite all this the site is rich in wildlife and worth saving.
Today we will be continuing our valuable work to reclaim the chalk Downland and manage the remaining scrub sympathetically for the benefit of the sites flora and associated butterflies. Unusually we are scrub cutting in the middle of summer. This is because some of the scrub that we cut in the winter doesn’t always get treated due to the sheer amount of stumps, however the scrub that is beginning to regrow doesn’t like being cut again in the summer, causing it to weaken and eventually die off.
Meet at 10am at the barn on the left side of the lane to the church. From the A31 take Kings Lane towards Chilcomb. At the T-junction, go left and then round the bend to the right then at the next junction follow the lane leading to the church. The barn is on the left after about 150 yards. Look out for our yellow signs.