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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.







This Morning’s Work Party

A big thank you to the eight volunteers who dug out Spanish bluebells and hybrids this morning.  We filled 19 bags with bluebells, mostly from the small woodland area next to Widley Gardens, and one bag with litter.  This was the first work party at Widley Gardens and we will need several more sessions to clear the remainder.

After this morning’s session there are very few Spanish bluebells left at Sandy Dell. 

Great British Litter Pick

This morning 22 people turned out for a litter pick around Purbrook filling 51 bags and collecting other assorted rubbish including a radiator, half a scooter, road signs and a 5ft long 10” diameter heavy duty plastic pipe!

We were joined by our local MP, Alan Mak, who ‘mucked in’ with everyone else. Special thanks to Tom Mackinnon, who organized the event as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  Finally a really big ‘thank you’ to the Village Bakery in Purbrook who opened up especially on a Sunday morning to serve a full English breakfast on completion.

A really successful morning; the weather helped, perfect conditions. 

61 bags of litter have been collected so far this year and the total since records began in November 2011 is 636 bags.

The photograph shows some of the rubbish collected.

Another productive morning at Sandy Dell

With ten volunteers we were able to tackle several jobs.  We dug out a well-established laurel and several other shrubs, removed some of the ground elder from around the English bluebells we planted and cleared soil from part of the tarmac path which turned out to be a lot wider than it first appeared.

Pre-Christmas Litter Pick

This morning five volunteers collected 20 bags of litter plus other rubbish including a car seat from Purbrook Heath Road and Purbrook village.  84 bags have been collected in 2017 making a total of 575 bags since records began in November 2011.


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.