Conservation Area History

Further history/information about the site after the Official Opening can be found in the Post Categories.

3rd September 2006

Official opening of Wildlife Conservation Area by Parish Council Chairman Geoff Sharman. Followed by a walk up to Yew Hill for joint picnic with Butterfly Conservation, to consume butterfly cakes, elderflower and blackcurant juice etc.

August 2006

Weeding, watering, mowing. Even a Bank Holiday working party.

July 2006

More work parties, watering and weeding. Drought threatens again, with occasional heavy rain not enough to give a good soaking. Perhaps 10% of shrubs have not made it. Second round of selective spraying of surviving brambles. Part of the meadow hand-mown with shears to encourage lower plants.
The hottest month in Britain since records began.

June 2006

More formal and informal work parties, watering and systematic weeding around young trees to reduce competition. Slow worms spotted. Drought threatens trees until rain at end of the month.

May 2006

Trees are doing well with just a couple of casualties but the area looks terrible as nettles are growing fast and quite a lot of brambles, and profuse growth of cleavers. A mixture of hand pulling and spraying is used to get matters under control. New field gate installed to provide access for mowing etc.

April 2006

More bramble clearing. Local Brownies plant a hawthorn hedge. Grant from HCC’s Hampshire Villages Initiative.

March 2006

Working parties rake out roots in meadow area

7th, 8th, 21st, 22nd January 2006

Community Planting Days. Many local people join in planting shrubs and trees including hazel, hornbeam, whitebeam, spindle, guelder rose, crab apple and alder buckthorn.

17th and 18th December 2005

Parties meet to make the cleared site safe, investigate a sewer access, clear uncovered rubble etc.

13th December 2005

Contractors clear bramble forest ready for replanting with native chalk downland species. Area to south of the path left to support wildlife and bramble jelly.

11th December 2005

Site survey confirms that no badgers are in residence.

October 2005

OBCG holds a site meeting. Hanson Environment Fund awards a grant for Wildlife Conservation Area works.

July 2005

OBCG formally constituted, with seed funding from OB Parish Council.
Local botanist Jean Kington surveys site and identifies the plants present.

Quite a while ago

Sewage works abandoned to secondary blackberry forest and a couple of rabbits. Sorry 4. No 8. Crikey.

Ages ago

Wildlife Conservation Area used as sewage works. (details anyone please?)

Civil War

Oliver unimpressed with flat Battery, takes it out on Cathedral.

July 1100

Purkis’s cart carries body of feudal tyrant Rufus over track from Port Lane to Whiteshute. Purkis pauses to admire Wildlife Conservation Area. Allegedly.

1066 and all that

England unsettled by French-speaking vikings.

Dark Ages

Battery flat. Under cover of darkness Winchester becomes capital of Wessex, then capital of England.

Iron Age

Prescient Belgians build Battery for Oliver. Recharged by Romans.

Bronze Age

Round barrows appear near Texas Drive, aliens suspected.


Continent cut off by North Sea. Farmers invent countryside.


English Channel invented. Hampshire Steppes replaced by forest. Boris Butterfingers looses quartzite macehead at Battery, delaying further development.


Hampshire Steppes resettled by Iberian hunter gatherers.

Pliocene, Pleistocene

Erosion, woolly mammoths, etc. Weather variable, arctic with sub-tropical intervals. Core of Winchester Anticline exposed to public scorn and ridicule, ripe for redevelopment as civic amenities site. Oliver’s Battery unbowed. Humans withdraw from Britain with frostbite.


Dangerous driving by Africa causes Alps. Whiplash in vicinity of Winchester Anticline, Wildlife Conservation Area listing badly.

Eocene, Oligocene

Winchester uplifted by continental movements, Southampton stuck in mud. Plus ça change.


Wildlife Conservation Area under warm sea. Schools of marine reptiles drop thick piles of chalk dust. Falling educational standards and mass extinction.