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 Johnston’s Coppice

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

The application by Terena Plowright of The Greening Campaign for a change of use of Johnston’s Coppice, the nature reserve behind Crookhorn Technology College, to ‘mixed use of woodland and natural pet cemetery’ was refused on 18th March 2014.  The intention was for the pet cemetery to finance management of the woodland. 

There were a number of objections and the application was refused because ‘In the absence of adequate information the Local Planning Authority is not satisfied that the proposal will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the populations of protected species concerned at a favourable conservation status.’

The principal species of concern is the Hazel Dormouse although, according to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, eleven different species of bats have also been recorded in the area, including the very rare Bechstein’s bat.

An eight-year management plan has been prepared and the first section of hazel was coppiced early in 2013.  The PAWARA Environment Group has assisted with clearance work.  Woodland management activities ceased last year when volunteer work parties were cancelled due to a lack of numbers and Hampshire County Council withdrew the support of a Countryside Warden, who had been able to assist with a chainsaw, due to budget constraints.  Terena still intends to manage the coppice and is waiting for the lease to be finalised.


Tuesday 1st April 2014

Hundreds of tadpoles (there could be thousands; I didn’t count them) are in the shallow edges of Penjar Pond and movement of the water can be seen from several yards away.







Photos from Sandy Brow

Some action shots from our work clearing overgrowth from the fruiting hedge at Sandy Brow this morning.

Bats in Johnston’s Coppice

Thirteen residents joined Nik Knight of Hampshire Bat Group for a bat walk in Johnston’s Coppice on Monday 14th August.  Nik handed out bat detectors and we made our way to the pond where the activity at dusk was mostly common pipistrelle with a pass of a possible serotine.

When we were on the footpath south of Tamarisk Gardens/ Woodsedge, things were more interesting, with a very good recording of a long-eared bat, most likely brown long-eared and a Myotis species bat, probably Natterer’s.  Common pipistrelle was also present.  As we returned to Purbrook Way, a serotine and common pipistrelle were recorded, so there were definitely four species, which is fewer than identified during a survey there two years ago.

It should be noted that bats are protected and a licence is required to handle bats.

Common Pipistrelle


Brown Long-Eared Bat

Natterer’s Bat

Havant at Home

The PAWARA Environment Group had a stand in Havant Park on Saturday as part of Havant at Home, a free event organised by The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre ‘celebrating Havant Borough and the reasons we all love to call it home!’  The stand also hosted Havant Borough Tree Wardens and Friends of Havant Cemeteries. 

Various community groups were represented and entertainment included circus group hikapee who performed ‘house’ and local music acts on the Community Stage.

The event finished earlier than planned due to rain stopping the musical entertainment.  The deteriorating weather meant there was not a high attendance, but the stand and, particularly, the tree identification quiz attracted interest and visitors included the MP for Havant, Alan Mak, and the Mayor of Havant, Elaine Shimbart.  No one identified all twenty trees correctly.

This morning’s work at The Bog

Before, during and after photos of the fruiting hedge at The Bog.

Birds had eaten the cherries, there were a few apples on two trees.

Please click on a photo to see a larger image.

Penjar Pond

Photos from this morning.

The last of the Spanish bluebells at Sandy Dell

We have now removed all the Spanish bluebells we could see from Sandy Dell, apart from the stubborn bulbs that were too deep, although there appear to be some hybrids left.  There are Spanish bluebells on the other side of the ditch, at Privett Road and plenty of hybrids in the woodland to the side of Widley Gardens, so more to do.  On a brighter note, there was only half a bag of litter and some of that had been there a while.

Tree Maintenance at Privett Road

We had an encouraging turnout of eleven volunteers for the work party at Privett Road yesterday, including two new recruits.  Apart from digging out two tree stumps, it was an easy task and we completed the job with time to spare.

Tree Planting & Hedge Maintenance – Sunday 12th March

We had a very productive morning at The Bog and Penjar Pond with a good turnout of residents supplemented with scouts from the 72nd Portsmouth Group.  We added to the fruiting hedge at The Bog with apple, quince and elder while the scouts staked the existing trees.  We then moved over to Penjar Pond where the scouts sawed up and moved some branches that had been cut down and left at the back of the pond.  Meanwhile, the rest of us planted a double row of wild plum trees at the Elstead Gardens end of the grass area.  Our original intention was to continue the hedge planted for year-round colour.  Unfortunately, the ground was too stony.  There was a suggestion it might be builders’ rubble.

Purbrook & Widley Spring Clean – 5th March 2017

Well done and thank you to everyone who turned out for the Purbrook and Widley Spring Clean.

The start was delayed by an hour due to early morning rain.  That said, the weather was not as torrential as it might have been although there was a violent hailstorm at lunchtime, after everyone had gone home.

The street cleaners were highly efficient and it was not possible to take a photo of all the bags collected because they were taken away before the spring clean was finished.

The total was 39 bags of rubbish plus a discarded dining room chair and a wheel rim complete with tyre.  On Friday a bag was filled with fast-food boxes and wrappers from around the tennis courts at Purbrook Heath.  So the total for the weekend was 40 bags plus the extras.

Trees at Privett Road

We had a very successful morning staking the trees we planted four years ago at Privett Road.  The trees did not need support, but we staked them to enable us to locate them easily.  We found 41 of the 105 trees we originally planted although there may be a few more hidden under brambles.  The trees were planted as 6” – 8” bare-rooted whips, which explains the survival rate and why some are still quite small.  We took the opportunity to clear around the trees to reduce competition from grass.


We cut out the well-established goat willow and managed to dig out three of the roots.  The remainder will have to wait for a follow-up visit.


We also started to cut back some of the brambles that had encroached on the flat area where we planted the trees.