Sherfield English SANG
Mill Lane is positioned to the south of Sherfield English, Romsey. Previously used for agriculture, the site has now been opened for dog walking and informal recreation and is a designated SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) with the aim of taking pressure off the new forest. This site is a mixture of wetland and grassland bordered by large veteran oaks.
Mill Lane was, until recently, used as agricultural land for hay crop and grazing cattle. The site has been taken over by the council to be managed as a public open space, specifically for dog walking to relieve some pressure from the new forest. This site has a mosaic of grassland, wetland and Carr Woodland which creates beautiful scenery as well as wonderful habitats for a variety of wildlife.
This is a dogs off lead site! The boundaries have been secured with fencing so feel free to explore, but please bear in mind some places will be boggy so stick to the drier areas and informal paths. Mill Lane stays very wet all year round so wear your wellington boots and be prepared for muddy dogs!
Management of the site
The grasslands are to be cut annually for hay crop, however, this has many benefits for the site. Cutting and collecting grass can have a hugely positive impact on grassland habitats, encouraging native wildflowers to grow and keeping down more hardy grasses and plants that would otherwise outcompete the flowers. Removing the grass cuttings also reduces the soil nutrients which favours our wildflowers. Our grasslands and the native wildflowers they include are of high importance to our insect populations. Mill Lane holds an estimated total of 433 invertebrate species, 20 of which carry a conservation status as well as a wide variety of flora over the whole site, including Yellow Loosestrife, Marsh Pennywort and Water Mint.
The site is also bordered by some large veteran oaks estimated to be over 250 years old. These trees are home to many different species of insects and are therefore a hugely valuable part of the site. The management of the site will aim to benefit these veterans and aim to keep them healthy so they’re there for another hundred years to be enjoyed by generations to come.
The wet woodland also has the potential to be perfect habitats for bats, containing many suitable roosting areas as well as a plentiful food supply. The management of the woodland will take these habitat features into consideration and conducted in such a way that it is beneficial for the site and the wildlife that inhabit it.
There is a car park off Mill Lane, Sherfield English, Romsey, SO51 6FN. This does have a height barrier (2.1 meters) at the entrance. This can be seen on the map below:
The site is accessible through Disability Discrimination Act compliant kissing gates however the site has no set paths and is often very wet and muddy so care should be taken for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
There are only three bins on site, please use these for dog waste and general rubbish. However, please take your litter home with you where possible.