Wildlife Conservation Area
The Wildlife Conservation Area is a plot of land adjoining Oliver’s Battery Recreation Ground, leased from Winchester City Council by Oliver’s Battery Parish Council. It is managed for the benefit of wildlife and the community by the voluntary efforts of Oliver’s Battery Countryside Group, on behalf of the Parish Council.
The Wildlife Conservation Area adjoins the south-east boundary of Oliver’s Battery Recreation Ground. It is surrounded on three sides by fields used for grazing. The site is in quite an exposed position on the hillside facing Yew Hill.
- Please read our risk assessment before working at the Wildlife Conservation Area.
- There is a gate at the back of the Recreation Ground, which is at the south end of Compton Way (see image below).
- The area cannot be reached by car from Compton Way below Oliver’s Battery Gardens – vehicular access is only from Priors Way (see image below).
- There is also a gate from the bridleway that runs down the Parish Boundary from Whiteshute to Yew Hill.
- There is a car park at the Recreation Ground with access from Priors Way (see image below).
During the 20th century the site was used for treatment of sewage from the nearby caravan park. Subsequently it became disused and largely overgrown with brambles and thistles.
In 2005 Oliver’s Battery Countryside Group began the voluntary task of converting it to an area of chalk grassland and native shrubs for wildlife and community use, on behalf of the Parish Council.
Before work began, a plant survey was carried out in July 2005 by a local botanist which can be viewed here: Plant Survey
It was decided to clear much of the site of brambles before re-planting, leaving an area at one end untouched for existing wildlife and blackberry pickers.
Read about the continuing history of the Wildlife Conservation Area here: History
Please let us know if you can fill in any information about the use and disuse of the site prior to 2005.
Millers Lane Pond
The pond off Millers Lane is very old, dating back to at least 1812 and probably earlier. It was originally constructed as a mist pond or dew pond. Today it is used as a soak-away for the run-off from Millers Lane and Old Kennels Lane. Hampshire County Council have fenced and gated the pond off as it is sometimes very deep.
In 2009 a report on the pond was produced by Hugh Corry Environmental.
In 2013 the Highways Department cleared out the pond, removing the vegetation.