My son and I walked in glorious sunshine last Sunday morning in Hocombe Mead, thanks to our guide Dr. Andy Barker, and his helpful friends from Friends of Hocombe Mead, and Southampton Natural History Society.
In the two-and-a-half hour guided tour in Hocombe Mead last Sunday, Andy, with passion and patience, introduced to us fascinating features in this beautiful local nature reserve, including:
- Butterflies: Brimstone, Peacock and Comma
- Wild flowers such as Moschatel
- Hart tongued fern
- Scarlet Elf Cap
- The carving of the fallen Oak tree by Paul Sivell
- Frog spawn
- Opposite leaved golden saxifrage
- Goat willow, and many more.
We spotted these beautiful butterflies. Have a guess. Do you know their names? These stunning photos were taken by photographer Ian Julian, who visited Chandler’s Ford for the guided walk from sunny Bournemouth.
The guided walk was enlightening. Andy lectures in Conservation & Wildlife Management at Sparsholt College. He has published books and scientific papers on butterflies and geology. Andy is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southampton. Andy is full of passion. He made exploring nature fun. We were so lucky to have him as our guide.
The informative guided walk was rewarding. It helps me understand the wildlife around me and the beauty of mixed woodland, ancient meadows, and heathland in Chandler’s Ford, my home since 2000.
If you want to find out more about Hocombe Mead and its amazing wildlife, you can download the informative I-Spy charts on Hocombe Mead website. I highly recommend the resources on this site — they are clear and wonderfully presented.
I also enjoyed listening to stories about an increase of pheasants visiting people’s garden recently, and the story of a rampaging bull from Hocombe Mead causing chaos in Chandler’s Ford last June.
One fascinating fact about Hocombe Mead is the carving of the fallen oak tree by wood sculptor Paul Sivell from the Isle of Wight. You can see the amazing details of the oak tree carving in this gallery. The carved oak tree has become a paradise and sanctuary to many people to Hocombe Mead.
I had a wonderful Sunday morning in Hocombe Mead, in our rich and beautiful wood, with truly lovely people in our neighbourhood. It was wonderful to meet some of the Friends of Hocombe Mead too, such as Chairman Hazel Lankester, and John.
The next event at Hocombe Mead will be on Saturday 26 April: Guided Walk Bird Song followed by Easter Trail for children. You don’t want to miss it.