Wigmore Heath Local Nature Reserve
Wigmore Heath is an important remnant of lowland heath that once dominated the landscape around north Hampshire and parts of West Berkshire. Although the site is now surrounded by housing it forms an important stepping stone between nearby Silchester, Tadley and Greenham Commons, all of which are nationally recognised for their ecological importance.
Wigmore Heath itself is has been designated a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation due to the fact that lowland heath is an internationally scarce habitat and supports many threatened or protected plants and animals.
In recent years the site has become very overgrown and attracts a lot of anti-social behaviour however once the work to restore the habitat has been completed not only will the wildlife flourish but local residents will once again have a lovely open space to walk, cycle or simply quietly enjoy. Part of the restoration work will include the felling of up to 1 hectare of thin birch, pine and holly from around the edges of the open heathland to increase the size of this important habitat and create open views across much of the area.
Heathland was created in the past as a result of intensive land management. Commoners would have had the right to graze cattle, collect firewood, or birch and heather for besom making, and even extract gravel. All of these activities would have prevented the heathland from becoming overgrown. These days this work has to be done by hand and relies on continual input from conservation volunteers and the council’s grounds maintenance team.
If you would like to become part of the story of this site’s exciting restoration and become a Friend of Wigmore Heath, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Do you want to show your support for vital habitat restoration work at Wigmore Heath? Details of a public meeting where you can find out more will be confirmed soon. Meanwhile, if you are interested in volunteering contact email@example.com.