Portsmouth Water creates new woodland habitats at Havant Thicket

Portsmouth Water is planting hundreds of trees and hedgerow plants to create valuable new wildlife habitat on its grassland at Havant Thicket.

The company is investing to plant trees to create a new woodland corridor, including Oak, Hornbeam, Field Maple, Sweet Chestnut and Lime, as well as hedgerows, made up of Hazel, Dog Rose, Hawthorn, Wild Cherry, Rowan and Holly.

As it grows the new woodland will provide a valuable connection between other areas of woodland on the site and further afield. It will allow birds and mammals such as dormice and bats, to move around and feed more easily in the area.

The Havant Thicket site is owned by Portsmouth Water and is currently made up of grazed grassland, with small areas of trees. It’s bordered by woodland to the north owned by the Forestry Commission and Staunton Country Park to the south, owned by Hampshire County Council. It is open to the public to walk in, watch birds and explore, via a network of paths.

The company has included a proposal to build a reservoir on the site in its future plans to increase the resilience of water supplies in the water-stressed South East and provide new wetland wildlife habitats and community, leisure facilities. Simon Hughes, of Portsmouth Water, said: “We’re really excited to be carrying out this extensive planting on our land to create a vital new corridor of trees and hedgerows. This will help to support wildlife on the site and make a connection between blocks of
woodland habitat that are important for many different species, both as the site is now and when the reservoir is developed. “We’ll be engaging local schoolchildren, our employees and local conservation volunteers in the future planting as we create new habitats for wildlife.”

The planting project is supported by Natural England, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council. By planting now, the woodland has time to become established and provide habitats long before any steps are taken to progress the reservoir. It is being carried out on the eastern side of the Havant Thicket site, near Rowlands Castle. It will include the creation of wood pasture with small clumps of trees, hedgerow and scrub strips, and a new 50-metre wide woodland corridor.

It will be protected by mesh fencing, which will be erected from January 21. The planting is due to complete in early March. To find out more on Havant Thicket visit:

Havant Thicket Reservoir