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.
Conservation activities don’t tend to take place over the Spring and Summer season to avoid disturbing nesting/breeding wildlife, or the growth/seeding of plants. Dates for work parties will be updated when conservation work resumes in September. Please contact our conservation groups or visit their websites to enquire about any activities/events they may be running this season.
Black Dam Ponds and Crabtree Plantation
The Black Dam and Crabtree Conservation Group carries out conservation activities in Black Dam Nature Reserve and Crabtree Plantation. 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 one Saturday per month, between September and March.
In addition to our practical conservation work parties, we will be running moth evenings one Saturday per month, starting in April.
Please wear clothes suitable for the weather; all tools are provided, along with refreshments mid-morning.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chineham Conservation Group - Inactive
This group is currently inactive, we are looking for volunteers who might be interested in starting it up again.
If you are interested in leading volunteer work parties on this site, please contact our Community Green Space Officer at email@example.com.
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.
For further information visit Cliddesden Conservation website or email Alison Mosson firstname.lastname@example.org
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 four to six weeks on a Sunday for a few hours; visit the Friends of Daniel Park Facebook page for details of upcoming events. Work includes hedgerow and tree maintenance, community orchard maintenance, keeping meadow areas clear of invading scrub and preparing areas to encourage wildlife. Tools and instruction will be provided.
Meet at 9:30am in the community orchard alongside Daniel Road, RG28 7LS.
For more information, contact the group via their Friends of QEII Daniel Park Whitchurch Facebook page.
Friends of Loddon Vale Parks Group - Inactive
This group is currently inactive, we are looking for volunteers who might be interested in starting it up again.
If you’re interested in leading volunteer work parties on this site, please contact our Community Green Space Officer at email@example.com.
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 residents regularly join in with work parties, which are held on selected Saturday mornings; planned dates are advertised on our website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jubiloaks is a voluntary association formed in Oakley in May 2012. Jubiloaks' aims are to plant and maintain native woods, hedgerows, meadows and wildflowers, and to emulate The Woodland Trust by working with others to plant more native trees, protecting woods and their wildlife for the future and inspiring everyone to enjoy and value them. Jubiloaks is a member of Natural Basingstoke, an association of conservation groups in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane.
Jubiloaks helps to look after the multi-user pathway between Oakley and Kempshott in Basingstoke, which was opened in November 2011. The group has morning work parties on the second and third Wednesdays and last Saturday of the month, undertaking conservation work on the pathway.
Jubiloaks also works in the wider Oakley and Deane area, planting trees and hedgerows as identified by the parish council.
New members are always welcome (including children, accompanied by a responsible adult). No subscription is payable - just come along to help and join in the fun!
For further information visit Jubiloaks' conservation group website, email email@example.com or phone 01256 781456.
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 and 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 first 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 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 emailing email@example.com
Natural Basingstoke is an umbrella volunteer group based in the borough that offers technical and administrative support to many of the local green space groups across Basingstoke and Deane. Working in partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Natural Basingstoke support groups or individuals wishing to start their own conservation group. If you have a passion for wildlife, you have the opportunity to do something in a small area that can make a big difference!
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 on occasional Wednesdays and Saturdays. All tasks are related to woodland management.
For further information contact Alan Merry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07867 657478.
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, Hatch Warren 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 includes activities such as coppicing, thinning, scrub clearance, ragwort pulling, seed collecting, and constructing hurdles and dead hedges.
Work parties are held on Beggarwood on the first Tuesday in the month, at 9:00am, meeting at the Café in the Park.
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.
Overton Community Orchard
Overton Community Orchard is maintained by a small group in Overton Hill open space. Come along to our occasional community events, caring for and showcasing the orchard. This orchard is easily accessible by all in the local community.
For more information please contact us through www.sustainableoverton.org.uk/contact-us and specify Overton Community Orchard in your enquiry.
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.
For further information contact Mick Hook email@example.com
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.