Beggarwood is the sister site to Old Down.It lies on the south side of the A30 and can be reached safely by crossing at the pedestrian lights. Beggarwood is a large site and biodiversity has improved due to the implementation of a three year mowing cycle.
Beggarwood is more sheltered from the prevailing wind than Old Down so we are hoping the butterflies will do well here .
The community hall building is now open
We would like to do some more butterfly recording on Beggarwood similar to the one which already runs on Old Down. Please get in touch if you would like to take part. If you would like to start a bird group on Beggarwood, white throats and linnets are amongst the birds to be found there, and skylarks can be seen prospecting for nesting sites. There were sightings of lapwings surprisingly as the area is well used by the public but we don't know if they have been seen recently.
The amphitheatre area was reseeded by the council about 2012 and small scabious and vipers bugloss and knapweed can be found there.
There are also significant amounts of Birds foot trefoil in the northern area near the A30. The sheltered areas to the south also show great promise for wild flowers.
The attachment below shows the final master plan provided by Basingstoke and Deane council. We are hoping that more people will join the group which has been working on Old Down but with a view to improving/surveying Beggarwood.
As part of the preparatory work on Beggarwood the Council commissioned 2 surveys. The first was a high level field survey that assessed the flora, and probability of their being protected fauna, based on the quality of the habitat. The second survey was more detailed with a focus on finding evidence of Dormouse, Reptiles and Breeding Birds.
Species of particular importance which have been found on Beggarwood are Linnet Skylark White throat and House Sparrow. It is also suspected that there may be a small breeding population of dormice. (See Phase 2 report for details)
There is a consolidated record of flora sighted in the woodland and grassland at Beggarwood that you can view here.
A butterfly species not found on Old Down has been found in a wildflower rich area of Beggarwood beside the A30. The Butterfly is a Dingy Skipper and the larvae (caterpillars) and adults feed extensively on Birdfoot Trefoil. The picture below of a Dingy Skipper was taken on Beggarwood. The female Dingy Skipper is reluctant to move more tha 40 metres away from its nearest foodplant. As one of our aims is to create sustainable populations we want to open up a connection with the wider open space of Beggarwood and enable the butterfly to cross the A30 to Old Down. For this to succeed we need to establish sizeable areas with Birdsfoot Trefoil.
Two of our members have completed the first butterfly survey of Beggarwood in 2012 and below is an aerial picture of Beggarwood and an indication of where the many different species were observed.