Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Great Binfields Copse

This site comprises 6 hectares of semi-natural ancient woodland between the A33 and Tescos at Chineham.

Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers surveyed the site, for the owners (of part of the site!), Basingstoke and Deane Council. Copies of the report were submitted to interested parties in September 2000.

Most of the site is damp mixed deciduous woodland,with beech, ash and hornbeam at the dryer West end, and a neglected Scots Pine plantation at the South-East corner.

This site is a remnant of the Forest of Eversley, which once extended to Aldershot. On the eighteenth century maps of Hackwood Park and the Tithe Map most of the present shape of the woodland is evident. It was bought by Hampshire County Council in the Sixties. On the ground, the boundaries are marked with woodbanks and coppice ash trees which are indicative of ancient woodland.

Great-spotted Woodpecker

Common-spotted Orchid

The survey found around 50 ancient woodland indicator species.The most obvious flowers are bluebells which grow in the thousands beneath the beechs. If you are lucky you might find Early-purple Orchids or the elusive Herb Paris. Later, in July, Common-spotted Orchid and Ragged Robin flower in the damper areas, but watch out for the vicious mosquitoes. In August, flower spikes Violet Helleborine can be seen, but it is scarce.

In the Autumn there is a large assortment of fungi, especially in the area where pine and deciduous trees are together. Broad Buckler and Scaly Male Fern are found in many places, and are at their best up to the first frost. It is a good place to see Roe Deer at close quarters if you go quietly.

At the moment part of this site is being developed with a school and some houses. The impact upon the site's wildlife value remains to be seen and won't really be known for a few years. BCV will probably be involved in management of the site after the building work is complete.