Hedge End Parks & Open Spaces
Thanks to Eastleigh Borough Council's policy of devolving many items of local interest to parish and town councils, Hedge End Town Council, now looks after most of the public open space in Hedge End.
The most recent acquisition is the beautiful new 16-acre park at Dowds Farm, complete with its substantial lake. It has just emerged from the first growing season for many of its plants and it is already starting to look quite mature.
Nearby Grange Park has an extensive network of walks and cycleways, including one along the railway line. It also has a walk from Lakeside to the recreation ground at Woodhouse Lane.
Central Hedge End also has a network of walks. One route connects Greta Park with Turnpike Way and Bridget Mary Gardens.
In the south, there is some lovely walking to be had in the Manor Farm Country Park, which starts at the edge of town and extends along the River Hamble. We are also fortunate to have Itchen Valley Country Park and Royal Victoria Country Park only a short drive or cycle away.
Explore Bridget Mary, Dowd's Fram and Wildern Local Nature Reserve in more detail below.
Our groundstaff ensure that habitats for wildlife are monitored, protected and maintained at our nature reserve, ponds and green spaces across the town. The team has good local knowledge of the flora and fauna in and around Hedge End and they are sensitive to their environment, ensuring that litter is cleared regularly, but also that during dormant times they are careful not to disturb those creatures that might be in hibernation.
Whilst the majority of local plants will self-seed, the staff also actively encourage and support those natural to the environment through regular weed removal, pruning and the thinning and coppicing of trees and shrubs. This encourages new growth, thus supporting local ecosystems.
Recent native plant species introduced have included rose, willow and silver birch.
Wildlife versus ‘The Unwanted Visitor’
Regularly spotted by our groundstaff in and around Hedge End are deer, rabbit, mole, fox, water vole, field mouse, coot, newt, slow worm, grass snake, butterfly, water boatman, whirligig beetle and many more invertebrates, too many to mention. All living in small urban pockets of nature across the town.
However, certain visitors such as the rat, are neither welcomed, nor encouraged. All groundstaff are fully trained in pest control to ensure our many sites are carefully monitored and that these unwanted visitors are dealt with quickly and humanely.
Hamble Valley and Eastleigh Heritage Walks - Northern Hedge End
A 2 hour 'dry paths' walk around northern Hedge End has been kindly created by Eric Reed. The walk begins at Hedge End Railway Station. Shamblehurst Lane, Maunsell Way, White's Way, Dowd's Farm Park. (Click image to open pdf)
For more details of Sunday Guided Walks visit: www.hamblevalleyheritage.co.uk