We have lots of groups that work across Basingstoke and Deane, click on the links below to find out more about the ones near you. You don’t have to have any previous practical experience, plenty of people are on hand to teach you the ropes and you can also get involved in other ways by helping out at events, helping with social media and marketing amongst other things.
Black Dam Ponds and Crabtree Plantation
The Black Dam and Crabtree Nature Conservation Group carries out conservation activities in Black Dam Nature Reserve and Crabtree Plantation. Meeting once a month on a Saturday, the group helps to improve the wildlife value and public enjoyment of the area through activities such as coppicing, pond clearance, plug planting, and path maintenance. With a wealth of wildlife knowledge within the existing group, this is a great opportunity to get fit, help the local area, learn some countryside skills and discover new species that are right on our doorstep!
Work parties start at 10am each Saturday, meeting at the Bolton Arch Car Park and refreshments are provided mid-morning and typically work is carried out between September and March.
Do wear clothes suitable for the weather, but all tools are provided.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chineham Conservation Group
Chineham Conservation Group manage the three ancient woodlands in Chineham: Long Copse, Great Sorrells Copse and Guinea Copse. Working with the Borough Council we preserve the natural habitat for the benefit of wildlife and the local community. We also work with the council in managing Tollhouse Meadow through which Petty’s Brook runs.
Our aims are:
- to maintain the richness of the woodland ecology by good management,
- to share our knowledge and enjoyment of the woodlands and the natural world in general with young and old in Chineham.
These are rich wildlife areas at the heart of Chineham and there are many ways in which local residents can contribute to their preservation – it’s not all wellies and bowsaws!
We meet monthly from September through to June, usually on the second Sunday morning in each month. Most of our activities are woodland related, such as coppicing and ride maintenance and in the summer months some work on Petty’s Brook, as well as enjoyment and recording of wildlife at all levels.
For further information please contact email@example.com or visit the Facebook page 'Chineham Conservation Group'
Cliddesden Community Conservation Group
The group is a registered charity (Registered Charity No 1106819) and is carrying out conservation work in Cliddesden and the surrounding area.
The objectives of the group are to Conserve, Enhance, Regenerate, and Create a thriving natural environment, including the flora and fauna, in and around Cliddesden for the benefit of the community. This includes such activities as creating or improving habitats for wildlife, plants and trees, educating the community in environmental matters, and representing the community environmental interest to decision makers, official bodies and others who may have influence on or affect the environment.
The work includes tree planting, hedgerow maintenance and bulb planting. The group also organises educational events and excursions.
Dummer Nature Group
Dummer Nature Group (DuNG) organises a variety of nature talks and activities in and around the village of Dummer.
DuNG was formed in the summer of 2011 by a small group of Dummer residents with an interest in their local wildlife who wanted to encourage others to share their interest and get involved in looking after their natural environment. Some of the activities that the group has been involved with have included a dawn chorus walk, pond dipping, moth trapping and talks on the hazel dormouse, Hampshire’s wildlife, red kites and butterflies.
For more information contact Diane White, Secretary on 01256 397919 or Jeffrey Northam on 01256 397465
Friends of Daniel Park
Daniel Park (RG28 7LS) is a 5-hectare, Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust, multiple-use public amenity in Whitchurch. Once agricultural land, the Park is now largely managed for biodiversity, but also contains a skatepark, BMX track, kickabout and picnicking areas, and a community orchard. Since reseeding in 2008 the meadow areas have become home to many species of wildflowers, grasses, fungi, insects, mammals and birds, and are particularly popular with field voles which, in turn, attract predators such as kestrels and owls.
The Friends group is open to all who want to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise and perhaps to learn more about conservation and wildlife. There is no joining fee and no previous experience of conservation work is needed.
Autumn, winter and early spring working parties take place generally once every 4 to 6 weeks on a Saturday for a few hours. See the Park’s website or Facebook page for details of upcoming events. Work includes: hedgerow and tree maintenance, community orchard maintenance, keeping meadow areas clear of invading brambles and saplings, preparing areas to encourage specific forms of wildlife. Tools and instruction will be provided.
Friends of Loddon Vale Parks Group
The group began in 2009 litter picking parks in the local area.
Discussions about the community and the parks led to the creation of the Friends of Loddon Vale Parks Group - which includes Saunders Fields, King George V Playing field, the small open space on Lower Brook Street, Victory Park, and Glebe Gardens, which all follow the River Loddon's path, and the Sinclair Pocket Park.
The Group's activities go beyond litter picking and incorporate tree planting, stream clearance, wildlife conservation, education and events.
Everyone is welcome to join in the monthly community sessions of bulb planting and pruning.
Friends of the Old Common
The Old Common is managed as part of the War Memorial Park. It is the last remnant of the old Basingstoke Common which was purchased in the 1970s to make way for house building at Black Dam and for road construction.
Whilst the Old Common is occasionally used as car parking space for major events in Basingstoke, it is more often a quiet area enjoyed by people walking their dogs or collecting blackberries.
The group was formed in 2016 and is working to improve the biodiversity of the green space. The introduction of wildflowers and a broader range of flowering shrubs will benefit wildlife and make the Old Common a more attractive area for the enjoyment of local people.
Winter Work Parties - meet one Saturday a month from 9.30 to 12.30. Tools, instruction and cakes are provided!
Summer Tasks - group members collect native wildflower seed and grow plants from locally sourced seed with the aim of gradually sowing and planting wildflowers around the margins of the Old Common.
New recruits are always welcome and no previous experience of outdoor work is required.
Find the group on Facebook - Friends of the Old Common
Please contact Helen Richards via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Friends of Stratton Park
The Friends of Stratton Park aim to enrich the green credentials of this local park for the benefit of wildlife, all park users and local residents. Stratton Park dates from the early 1970s and provides a range of sporting facilities which are well used, but the park also has great potential for richer and more interesting green spaces to benefit both wildlife and park visitors.
The group aim to increase the extent of wild flowers and flowering and berry bearing shrubs and trees - nectar sources for insects and winter food for birds. We undertake specific projects with this aim in mind and are currently working on the management of the old hedgerow with magnificent beech, oak and ash trees, and the creation of a small community orchard.
Fuzzy Drove Conservation Group
Fuzzy Drove is an ancient bridle path that runs from Oakley to Kempshott Lane. Sadly, due to the lack of maintenance over the last twenty or more years, the tree lined section that runs from Kempshott Lane up to the cycle path had deteriorated. Large areas were overgrown with brambles, nettles and ivy; diseased trees had been removed for reasons of safety but had not been replaced with new trees. In addition, the numbers and varieties of wildlife and wildflowers had declined too.
Following a “call to arms” in 2012, a number of Kempshott residents, with shared concerns, formed a new conservation group. Since then grant funding has been obtained to help us plant hedgerow species, new trees, wild bluebells and daffodils. We have also made progress with developing the environment to attract Dormice and Hedgehogs as well as a wide variety of birds, insects and bugs.
The aims of the group are:
- to renovate Fuzzy Drove and make it a more attractive and welcoming green space for current and future generations
- to encourage a wider range of plants and animals to live in the Drove
Local supporters and volunteers regularly join in with working parties which take place fortnightly or monthly on Saturdays.
Hatch Warren Nature Group
Begun in 2014 the aim of the group is to convert four adjacent amenity grass areas beside St Marks C of E Primary School and two areas on Garlic Lane and Old Beggarwood Lane into areas rich in wildflowers attracting butterflies, bees, birds and much more. We want to encourage all ages to experience, enjoy and learn about our wildflowers and the wildlife that need them for food.
For further information, please email email@example.com
Jubiloaks is a voluntary association formed in Oakley in May 2012. Jubiloaks' aims are to plant and maintain native woods, trees, hedgerows, meadows and wildflowers, and to emulate The Woodland Trust by working with others to plant more native trees, to protect woods, trees and their wildlife for the future, and to inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees. Jubiloaks is a member of Natural Basingstoke, an association of conservation groups in the Borough of Basingstoke and Deane.
Jubiloaks works on looking after the new multi-user pathway between St John's in Oakley and Kempshott in Basingstoke which was opened in November 2011 by Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Manydown Company. Jubiloaks has morning working parties on the second and third Wednesdays and on the last Saturday in the month doing conservation work on this pathway.
New members over the age of 16 (and anyone under age 16 but accompanied by a responsible adult) are always welcome. No subscription is payable - just come along and help with the work and join in the fun!
Kempshott Conservation Group
Formed in 2006, our efforts are directed at enriching the wildlife value of three sites in the east of Kempshott - close to the Down Grange sports and leisure complex:
Down Grange Meadow adjacent to St Marks Church
The meadow is our largest site and has great potential for improving biodiversity. The site is 6½ hectares in total, of which 5¼ hectares is grassland. The rest is a mix of mature woodland, plantations of various ages and hedgerows.
Old Orchard, Kendal Gardens
A hidden gem, known only to established residents and dog walkers. The site is located off Kendal Gardens and represents a remnant of the chicken farms, small holdings and orchards that evolved from 1900 onwards until Kempshott was subject to major development in the 70s. This compact site of just over 1½ hectares has many different habitats.
Old Hedgerow which runs between Down Grange and Coniston Road
A 200m section of hedgerow probably planted in the mid-19th century, contains the usual mix of mature beech, oak and ash. It also has a good selection of elm remnants. There are skeletons of dead mature elm trees as well as a good selection of re-growth elm.
Marnel and Popley Conservation Volunteers
Marnel & Popley Conservation Volunteers manage the Popley Ponds Local Nature Reserve and work on the green corridors which connect the site with Basing Woods and the wider countryside. Popley Ponds, which formed in an old chalk quarry that was once on the outskirts of Basingstoke, are now the green and secluded home to a wide collection of interesting wildlife, including one of North Hampshire’s largest Great Crested Newt populations.
The group carries out a varied programme of work throughout the year designed to conserve the natural environment for the benefit of wildlife, in what is now an urban setting. The unique nature of the site means the group has a particularly interesting and challenging task and they are keen to engage local residents to increase awareness of the protected wildlife on their doorstep.
Work parties take place on the last Saturday of every month from 10am to 1pm, with tasks including pond clearance, tree and shrub pruning, hibernacula creation and removing litter.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Facebook group Marnel & Popley Conservation Volunteers
Mill Field Conservation Group
Once agricultural land, this site is now managed for wildlife by the Mill Field Conservation Group. Various species of flora and fauna can be found on the site, including Bee Orchids, Little Egret, and Roe Deer. With its many informal paths, the Mill Field Local Nature Reserve is a great place to watch wildlife throughout the year.
There is also a skate ramp and children’s play area near the main entrance to the site.
All work parties start at 10am and finish at approximately 12pm. The meeting point is the play area in the Mill Field. Tools and instruction will be provided.
For further information please contact Anne Francis by phoning 07974 944439.
Oakley Woodlands Group
Oakley Woodlands group (OWG) was formed in 1997 with the support of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Hampshire Wildlife Trust to manage Cowdown Copse and St. Johns Copse. OWG members are all unpaid volunteers from the community.
The group’s aims are to:
- restore and maintain the woodland and its wildlife
- encourage a sensitive co-ordinated approach to the management of the woodland environment
- encourage and promote community involvement
- encourage educational usage of woodlands by local people, schools and youth organisations.
The group has a varied and interesting work timetable. Its summer programme comprises of surveys of flora and fauna, guided walks and moth evenings. Winter events include footpath clearance, hazel coppicing and replanting and sorting and selling of woodland produce such as stakes.
Work parties are usually held during the winter months. All tasks are related to woodland management.
For further information contact Peter Wilson (Secretary) by emailing email@example.com or phoning 01256 359837.
Old Down and Beggarwood Wildlife Group
Once agricultural land, this 24 acre site of recently planted woodland and open grassland with wonderful views is managed for the benefit of local people and wildlife.
Our aims include improving wildflower and wildlife diversity and raising awareness and understanding of wildlife and how to enjoy it. For more information about our group, take a look at our leaflet below, Discover Old Down below.
The Old Down and Beggarwood Wildlife Group was formally constituted on 17 October 2007. The group is mainly looking to the local communities in Kempshott, Hatchwarren and Beggarwood for support but is open to anyone interested in what they do.
The Group's objectives are:
- Increase the diversity and distribution of habitat appropriate flora and dependent species of fauna.
- Develop sustainable methods of habitat management that are harmonious with nature.
- Enable people to understand the impact of people and their activities on the natural world.
Work parties meet on Old Down at Old Down Hall RG22 5UY every Thursday morning for two hours from 10am to 12pm. What work is done depends on the season but ranges from coppicing, thinning, scrub clearance to ragwort pulling seed collecting and constructing hurdles and dead hedges.
Occasional work parties are organised for Saturday mornings and may take place on either site.
Overton Biodiversity Society
The main aim of the Overton Biodiversity Society is to raise awareness of the exciting range of wildlife to be found in our area and to encourage community involvement in looking after it.
We have an active programme of wildlife themed events and also help Overton Parish Council to maintain Little Meadow as a wildlife area for all to enjoy.
We have carried out surveys of land use, hedgerows, veteran trees, water voles, glow worms and dormice within Overton Parish.
We also run work parties at Micheldever Spoil Heaps - a 'site of specific scientific interest' to help with scrub clearance and to carry out plant surveys.
Working with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust the group has produced an Overton Biodiversity Action Plan for the parish. This describes the main habitats and species found locally and suggests guidelines for helping to conserve them.
For more information visit the group’s website www.overton-biodiversity.org or phone Ken MacKenzie on 01256 771121.
Silvermead Hedgerow Group
Silvermead Hedgerow Group works to maintain a length of hedgerow and amenity planting between two Kempshott estates. Such areas are too frequently neglected and have tended to deteriorate into belts of dense shaded spindly woodland with reduced biodiversity and unintended problems for residents. We work with BDBC to:
- re-establish and maintain the old hedgerow
- Manage the tree planting by coppice, pruning and replanting to increase species diversity
- Provide a model for how such boundary areas can by managed both for wildlife and residents
Work parties are held regularly throughout the year; please wear suitable clothing for the weather. Tools can be provided; please contact the group to receive work party schedules by email.
The South View Conservation Group
The South View Conservation Group is made up of local volunteers from the South View area of Basingstoke. The group's aim is to maintain the Holy Ghost Cemetery, which is a hidden treasure of 1.2 hectares of tranquil green space at the heart of modern Basingstoke.
Mature trees make this a lovely setting with seasonal changes marked by snowdrops, primroses and cyclamen.
This was the town’s graveyard from 1208 until it was full in about 1912 although cremation interments may still take place here.
The Holy Ghost Cemetery contains the Grade II listed ruins of two chapels - the west wall of the 13th century chapel of the Holy Ghost and the tower and arched windows of the early 16th century chapel of the Holy Trinity, added to the earlier chapel by Lord Sandys of the Vyne at Sherborne as a burial place for his family.
Although the older headstones have been removed and laid as paths, burials from the 1850s onwards record the history of the town since then, with many interesting townspeople buried here.
These take place on the second Saturday of each month, 10am to 12 noon (with refreshment break) from September to June.
For further information, please contact Rayanne Lutener by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other sites of conservation interest
Pamber Forest local nature reserve
Pamber Forest Local Nature Reserve is located east of Tadley between Silchester and Pamber Green. This ancient oak woodland was once part of the Royal Forest of Windsor and is now managed for its wildlife value by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HWT) on behalf of the borough council. There are several circular footpath routes within the forest, with interpretation signs at the main entrances.
Binfields Woodland Park
Parts of this woodland are over 400 years old, making it a great place for walking and spotting wildlife. In spring the woodland floor is covered with bluebells, growing beneath the beech trees. Throughout the rest of the year a number of different bird species can be seen, including woodpeckers, nuthatch and treecreepers. To find out more about this woodland you can take a self-guided walk through Binfields Woodland Park, using the Binfields Woodland Walk Leaflet below. The walk starts in in the Chineham Shopping Centre car park and follows a 2km route through the footpaths of Lychpit and Chineham finishing back at the Chineham Shopping Centre.
The woodland is also home to a series of artworks inspired by the woodland and its flora and fauna. These were funded by a Percent for Art contribution from Bellwinch Homes, with additional support from the borough council. The majority of pieces were designed in conjunction with the local community.
The artworks include colourful felt nests, willow flowers and wooden totems which depict key woodland species. Visitors can also discover two giant metal insects. For further information take a look at the Public Art section of our website.
Daneshill Park Woods Local Nature Reserve
Daneshill Park Woods is an ancient woodland lying on the edge of Lychpit. Once part of Daneshill House, the woodland offers a rich tapestry of habitats to explore. Hazel coppice, the remains of an old orchard, a sunken lane, and areas of scrub all provide homes for many different plants and animals. In spring, wood anemone, celandine and bluebells carpet the woodland floor.