Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Pamber Forest and Upper Inham's Copse

For some recent pictures Click here

Pamber Forest consists of 478 acres of ancient woodland managed by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust. Located just South-east of Tadley, it was once part of the Royal Forest of Windsor. It is mainly oak, with alder dominant in the stream valleys of Honeymill and Bowmont's Brooks. There is a long history of coppicing to provide wood for local woodland crafts like making besom brooms.

It is a Local Nature Reserve, and SSSI, chiefly due to the invertebrates present. Butterflies such as White Admiral, Silver-Washed Fritillary and Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary are frequently seen. It is a traditional site for the Purple Emperor, and this elusive insect was filmed here, for the "Living Isles" TV series. The ponds and streams are home to Palmate Newts as well as 19 species of dragonfly.

Over 50 ancient woodland indicator species are present, such as Greater Butterfly Orchid, Wild Service Tree, Star-of-Bethlehem and Wild Daffodils. Reptiles like Grass Snakes, Adders and Common Lizards are thriving. The Adders are easiest to find in the early Spring sunshine, warming up after hibernation. It is a good place to come birdwatching with warblers breeding in the dense cover and Woodcock flying low over the treetops on their "roding" flights on Summer evenings. There are many Fallow and Roe Deer, which, although pleasing to see, eat young shoots growing from the coppice, thus preventing regrowth and damage to the coppice.

More information on the Forest is available from HWT here

The Hampshire Wildlife Trust has recently purchased Upper Inham's Copse, which joins with Pamber Forest along Pamber's north eastern border. The two reserves are now managed in tandem, to maximize the benefits to wildlife. Click here for more information from HWT.

Pamber is regarded as BCV's home site, and we have about one task a month here. Early management after a long period of neglect concentrated on ride widening and re-establishing the coppice cycle. A few years ago most of the trees were removed from one area, leaving scattered standards. Other projects BCV has helped with include digging a pond and creating stream meanders. An area of the Forest and the adjoining Pamber Heath SSSI has been fenced and has been grazed by Highland Cattle to try to recreate wood-pasture. The heathy areas are suffering the problems of scrub-encroachment, so we've also helped with birch pulling, to help restore the Heather and Bilberry.

Click here for some fungi pictures and information

Pamber Photo Gallery (click on image to enlarge)

Jesse, Hound of Pamber and BCV mascot. A typical coppiced and fenced area created with help from BCV.
One of the gravel pits, a good dragonfly breeding site. BCV enlarging a pond on a major project.
The same pond that Winter. Pamber Forest in the Snow (Mrs Gloria Sharman)
Wild Daffodils. Star of Bethlehem.
Purple Emperor (EJ & JS Woolmer).
Here are some links to some pictures taken by Dave Jewsbury in 2003/2004 :
Long Ride in October 2003.
A snowy scene, 12 March 2004.
A bonny during Scots Pine removal,12 March 2004.
A dexter steer grazing in the woodland pasture, April 2004.
Dexter cattle grazing in the woodland pasture, April 2004.