Claylands conservation cut-backs

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: Claylands

This is a countryside site managed by the Crab Wood rangers. The work here will be a big dose of invasive scrub clearance undertaken with hand tools and hedge trimmers. Chainsaws not needed. Barry will lead the task and has a key for the gate.

Somewhat ironic really that to conserve a desired state of nature you have to discourage what grows naturally.

When considering footware, and the recent rain, be prepared for the ground to be wet and muddy. The clue is in the site name.


Background Info. taken from the HCS website.

The south facing slopes form the banks of a once thriving clay pit and brickworks. It was established in 1862, continuing production until 1956. The clayworks was one of the main sources of employment in the area. The Botley to Bishops Waltham railway line transported bricks and terracotta pots far and wide.

Products were used in buildings such as Buckingham Palace and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The warm slopes of the old clay works are now an important habitat for insects. Butterflies such as Marbled White, Green Hairstreak and Common Blue frequent the slopes.

After dark on summer evenings, the flightless female glow worm (which is in fact a beetle) glows to attract the winged males. The network of (recently created) ponds provides a habitat for all three native species of newt.


125 years ago