Walking

Walking trail

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Walking trail

Come and enjoy the wide open spaces of Stockbridge Common Marsh, which is situated alongside one of the jewels of Trust ownership – the River Test.

Look out for water voles swimming busily up and down the river banks in autumn.

The marsh offers access to the river's edge, in a valley which otherwise has little or no river frontage, and provides an ideal location for walking and picnicking.

A swan swims at Stockbridge March, Hampshire

Map

Map route for Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Start:

Lion's Den car park, grid ref: SU357342

1

As you enter the car park you will see a set of gates directly in front of you. Enter the gates, cross the Test Way and proceed through the next set of gates onto the grassy peat-rich meadows of the common. A well-worn path will lead you straight towards a white hand-railed bridge.

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2

When you reach the bridge turn left and follow the river along the length of the common. (Note: If you turn right and cross the bridge, you will leave National Trust land and follow a path which takes you into the centre of Stockbridge village.)

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3

As you walk along the bank of the Test tributary look out for the famous River Test trout. If you are fortunate you may also encounter water vole busily swimming from bank to bank. The water vole has been in decline in recent years, not least due to unsympathetic bank management and the introduction of American mink to the area. In winter, spot wildfowl and wading birds in marshy areas. Kingfishers can often be seen along the river. Reed, sedge and cettis warbler have also been seen within the reed beds, which occupy the far bank of the river.

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4

After 1 mile (1.6km) or so, the path will bear left into the meadow. Look out for cattle and horses grazing within the meadows, which are used to graze the area sensitively for the benefit of wildlife.

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5

After a short distance of around 175yd (160m), you will come to the Common Marsh boundary fence. Go through the pedestrian gate and proceed left along the Test Way footpath and cycle route.

6

The path will lead you back to the Lions Den car park, which is situated on your right after a mile (1.6km). It is here that you can either go directly to your car or alternatively, follow points 1 and 2 again, this time crossing the bridge to walk into Stockbridge village.

End:

Lion's Den car park, grid ref: SU357342

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Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Terrain

The route follows wide grassy paths which can become muddy. The entire common is open access to all. Take care around livestock and please refrain from feeding cattle and horses. Take care near waterways and ponds.

Dogs are welcome, but please note that livestock may be grazing on site.

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Contact us

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

How to get here

Address
Stockbridge, Hampshire
By road

Romsey/Stockbridge road A3057. From Romsey, go round the roundabout back towards Romsey, then take your next right towards Marsh Court. The car park is on your right, after about 1,090yd (1,000m).

By foot

This walk crosses the Test Way, a national footpath of around 44 miles (70km) which can be walked from Eling, at Southampton, to Inkpen Beacon, near Andover.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network for the Test Way passes the reserve boundary. Note: no cycling permitted on site.

Stockbridge Common Marsh wildlife walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome but please keep them under close control due to livestock in the area