The Chase

The Chase is a nature reserve owned by the National Trust and although information on The Chase is freely available, one good source is a book by Potts, T.A. (1970) Newbury Borough Museum’s Naturalist’s Guide to Wild Life around Newbury Woolton Hill: Highham Printing Co., which covers many aspects and was used in compiling a number of items in this entry.

The Chase used to be owned by the Earl of Carnarvon who planted it as a spinney to preserve game after being granted an Enclosure Award in 1819.  The lake was formed by damming the Sheepwash to produce power to drive the Blanket Mill.

In 1930 Sir Kenneth Swan bought The Chase to study birdlife in his own woodland. In 1944 Sir Kenneth fenced off The Chase before giving it together with some endowments to the National Trust on the understanding that it should be kept  and treated as a nature reserve, that is to say preserved and maintained for the encouragement of the birds, flowers, trees and other features of natural interest and beauty which it contains. For a number of years The Chase was only open to organised parties of members of either the National Trust or the Hampshire Naturalists’ Trust. 

Birds

The Chase has had a variety of birds over recent years including Finches, Tits, Warblers,  & Woodpeckers together with other visitors. All the birds listed below have been sighted within The Chase.

A printable version for you to mark off any birds you spot is included below:-

BIRDS SIGHTED
Finches  
Bullfinch  
Chaffinch  
Goldfinch  
Greenfinch  
Hawfinch  
Redpoll  
Siskin  
   
Tits  
Blue Tits  
Coal Tits  
Great Tits  
Long-tailed Tits  
Marsh Tits  
   
Warblers  
Blackcap  
Chiffchaff  
Garden Warbler  
Goldcrest  
Willow Warbler  
Wood Warbler  
   
Woodpeckers  
Greater Spotted  
Green  
Lesser Spotted  
   
Other Birds  
Crossbill  
Grey Wagtail  
Kestrel  
Kingfisher  
Moorhen  
Nightjar  
Nuthatch  
Tawny Owl  
Treecreeper  
Tree Pipit  
Woodcock  

 

Mammals

Mammals recorded over the years include the Badgers, Bank Vole, Bats, Common Shrew, Dormouse, Grey Squirrel, Fallow Deer, Muntjac, Roe Deer & Woodmouse.

Trees

Following the enclosure the numerous Corsican Pine, Douglas Fir, Larch, Norway Spruce & Scots Pine were planted together Alder, Beech & Oak.  At a later date Blackthorn, Hemlock, Holly, Hornbeam, Norway Maple, Poplar, Sitka Spruce, Sweet Chestnut, Tulip, Wild Cherry & Willow were planted.  

Plants

Amongst the bramble and ferns you can find Heather, Honeysuckle & Wild Candytuft . The snowdrops are followed by Wild Daffodils, Bluebells, Lilies of the Valley,Early Purple Orchids & Yellow Balsam “Touch me Not” not to be confused with the Himalayan Balsam “Policeman’s Helmet”.

Reptiles

Reptiles to be found inlude the Adder, Common Lizard, Grass Snake & Slow worm.

Fish

Fish in the lake include the Brown Trout, Bullhead, Catfish & Lamprey.

 

Beetles & Butterflies

This item will be updated during the course of this year.

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