Things to see and do at Curbridge Nature Reserve
Curbridge Nature Reserve is an ancient woodland that runs alongside the River Hamble, popular with locals, walkers and wildlife spotters due to its wetland habitat, important for birds, waterfowl and rare invertebrates.
An ancient woodland
There has been woodland along the River Hamble for hundreds of years. Mature and veteran oaks and ash, with an understorey of hazel coppice, holly and wild service trees provide habitats for many different species of bird, included greater spotted woodpeckers.
A special site
The site holds several designations: it is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), forms part of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and is also part of a Special Protection Area (SPA). These designations are mainly due to the importance of the site for overwintering waterfowl, wild birds, salt marsh and estuarine habitat and scarce invertebrate species.
Look out for the 'fairy tree'.
The area is well-loved by the local community, frequented by walkers and home to a ‘fairy tree’, which is decorated with tokens and wishes from visitors.
Meadows that hide a secret
We also care for the meadows on the other side of the river, which are tenanted out to farmers for grazing and cutting. Within these meadows lies the site of an ancient roman villa which is a designated monument.
Creating a new woodland at Curbridge Nature Reserve
The popularity of Curbridge Nature Reserve has led to heavy recreational pressure. The fragile site is surrounded by urban development and bankside trees are being lost to the natural tidal influences of the river.
Help us care for the countryside
Please be aware that camping is not permitted at Curbridge Nature Reserve, and it's not suitable for bikes. You can help us look after the countryside by closing gates behind you, keeping dogs under control, not using barbecues or campfires, taking all rubbish home and leaving no trace of your visit. Thank you.
A donation from SC Johnson enables us to create a woodland for the future, while protecting ancient woodland today; providing new wildlife habitats and new spaces for the community.
Explore Mottisfont’s diverse estate, traversed by the crystal-clear River Test, and south Hampshire countryside sites of Stockbridge Down and Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve.
Mottisfont is a two pawprint rated place. Dogs on a short lead are welcome to explore most of the garden.
We’re doing lots of work to look after the countryside sites of Stockbridge Down, Stockbridge Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve in order to provide key habitats for rare species.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.