About the site
Abbotstone Down is a 13 hectare mosaic of chalk grassland with mature oak wood, secondary wood and scrub. The remnants of a small Iron Age hill fort lie within the site. The area was once a local sheep grazed common with wood pasture, surrounded by private estate and woodlands. The site is situated on the Wayfarers walk, a long distance walk.
Near Old Alresford
Chalk Grassland habitats have declined in modern times, often turned over to arable farming due to the fertile nature of the soils. This habitat makes good grazing for sheep and would have covered large areas of Southern England. Now only remnants of these ancient unimproved grasslands remain.
Chalk grassland is rich in wild flowers such as Rock Rose, Wild Thyme and Kidney Vetch. These flowers in turn support a variety of invertebrates. Many birds are also found on chalk grassland.
Central Area Office, Crabwood Depot, Sarum Road, Winchester, SO22 5QS
Phone 01962 860948