The main car park at the Hills & Holes will be closed for essential maintenance from Mon 6 Aug-Fri 10 Aug inclusive. The closure is for safety reasons and to allow for essential maintenance to be carried out on the car park, including re buttressing of the cattle grid, addition of a soak away to avoid flooding and regrading of the pathway from the MCP to the reserve. The smaller car parks on Wittering Road and Walcott Road will remain open.
Contractors have also started taking down the field perimeter fence with the intention of fully replacing it.
When any maintenance work is taking place, please take extra care in the area and note any signs and verbal instructions from the contractors or Natural England staff.
Natural England apologies for any inconvenience caused and thanks you for your patience during this period. Any queries can addressed to reserve warden email@example.com
BBC Gardeners World this week (broadcast on 22nd June) features an item recorded by Adam Frost on the Hills and Holes which shows what a special place we have on our doorstep. It broadens the value of the reserve as not just for those interested in wildlife, particularly wild flowers, but as a source of inspiration in garden design. It is also well documented that open spaces and contact with nature is good for our mental health. Therefore with ever increasing visitor pressure on the reserve it is more and more important that we look after the site this summer if we are to retain and even enhance its beauty (Orchids are just starting to establish in the vicinity of the area cleared of trees and scrub in the early 2000s). You can help by keeping to the established footpaths, not leaving behind any litter and taking care not to damage any flowers or plants that appear adjacent to the footpaths. There has been significant improvement, since waste bins were introduced, with the problem of dog fouling but it has not been eliminated so please remember if you do bring along a dog to pick up and deposit in the bins provided all dog waste. If you want to participate actively in preserving the reserve for future enjoyment then donations following the instructions on the signs at the entrances or consider joining in with the organised working parties to keep the scrub at bay. Your assistance in ensuring this reserve maintains its status as an outstanding National Nature Reserve (with 8 red list species) and does not become just a “great place to walk the dogs”, is very much appreciated.
Whilst the Pasque Flowers and Cowslips are coming to an end and the Early Purple Orchid display is peaking, it is still not too late to enjoy them and you will not be the only ones. As illustrated in the photo kindly provided by Anna R. the insects are now busy on the reserve this also includes Green Hairstreak butterflies.
The first Man Orchid spike has been reported so the succession of plants and flowers to see continues and this activity will continue to build over the coming months.The number of Mistle thrushes seen and heard on the reserve this season seem particularly high and the summer warblers are in good voice and backed by Skylarks singing above the fields to the west of the reserve boundary.
Hopefully we will see the return of the sunshine in the next few days to add to the pleasure of a walk round this very special place.
As always we ask that you take care on the reserve and if you bring a four legged friend you keep it under control and clear up after them using the bags and bins provided.
Natural England have been in touch with the police regarding the number of break ins to cars in the main car park so please do take care not to leave any valuables on display when leaving your car.