22 May 2009

Hatchet Pond in the New Forest

Photos copyright and courtesy of Henry Szwinto http://www.szwinto.com/

An interesting place to visit, just 5 miles from Lymington, is Hatchet Pond. This is the largest pond in the New Forest, covering 6.7 hectares. It originates from the 18th Century, when it provided the water power for the nearby Hatchet Mill, an Iron Mill which is now a private house. The pond is very popular as a picnic area where families enjoy feeding the ducks and swans, and can buy an ice cream from the van which is usually parked here throughout the summer. There is ample parking and public conveniences. There is a model aircraft flying area on Hatchet Moor nearby. And from Mid june to mid March Hatchet Pond it is a favourite spot for course fishing - roach, bream, tench, carp, pike, eel, and rudd have all been caught here. And it is a very romantic spot to watch the sunset. Just one of the many beautiful places you can enjoy when you stay in my holiday caravan www.cogb.com/lymington

18 May 2009

Bird Watching at Hurst, Pennington and Oxey Marshes

Between the Lymington River and Keyhaven, with its seaward boundary the Solent Way footpath, this area is part owned by HCC aided by the Wildlife Trust. It was an important area for salt extraction until the 1850's and in the past was a popular area for wildfowling and the collection of winkles and oysters. Gravel extraction has also taken place here making it an interesting area for wild life. The intertidal habitat is made up of mud flats with seaweed and eel grass, and saltmarsh of glass wort and cad grass. Sea campion, thrift and the rare golden samphire grow along the shingle. In the spring wild daffodils cover the drier grassland just a few yards inland from the coastal path.
The habitat attracts high tide waders such as red shank, ring plover, oystercatcher, dunlin and curlew. Plovers and avocet are also seen here. In the past 15 years the little egret has become a common sight and brent geese are regular winter visitors, together with the more common canada geese. Other wild fowl seen are mallard, widgeon, red pintail, shoveler, shell duck, gadwell and the red breasted merganser. In colder weather the smew, goosander and occasional grey goose can also be seen. There are also divers and grebes and the rare white billed diver was once recorded here.
Also to be seen are passage birds - wagtails, pippets and dartford warblers, and numerous raptors - the peregrine, merlin, hobby, and hen and marsh harriers.
All this is just a short walk from my holiday caravan at Hurst view www.cogb.com/lymington.
Pictures copyright and courtesy of Henry Szwinto at www.szwinto.com

5 May 2009

Visit Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard from your New Forest holiday Caravan

Just 12 miles from my holiday caravan www.cogb.com/lymington is the village of Beaulieu, named from the french for beautiful place, and it truly lives up to its name. You can see the Tide mill, above left, which is being restored. Visit the 14C Palace house, the Abbey ruins, which date from 1204, and the famous Lord Montague's Motor museum, which houses Donald Cambells Bluebell, a Bond car, and many other famous vehicles. Just 2 miles from here along the Beaulieu river is the unspoilt village of Bucklers Hard. It was here that many of the ships in Lord Nelsons fleet were built from New Forest timber. You can take a river cruise or a woodland walk along the river. Or get refreshments in the Master Builders Public House or Hotel Restuarant. The village houses, above right, date from the 18C and are mostly unchanged. Some are open to the public.

These are just two of the many lovely and interesting places you can visit when you stay in my holiday caravan.

2 May 2009

Where in the New Forest is my holiday caravan?


The New Forest is a very varied environment, from the heathland of the north west of the National Park to the dense Forest around the central area of Lyndhurst, and my favourite part, the south east coastal area around Lymington. With its pretty villages, smaller heathland spaces, mixed deciduous forest, river estuaries and beautiful coast this has to be the place to stay. So we start at the historic Hampshire town of Lymington. Explore the cobbled street down to the quay,and the many old pubs, shops and top class restuarants. Visit the Saturday street market. Lymington does not have a beach but the large open air sea water swimming pool overlooks the marina, with its impressive yachts, many owned by the rich and famous. And the beach at Milford on Sea is only a few miles away. There is a Railway and a Bus Station, and for about £5 you can take a taxi from either to my holiday caravan on the outskirts of Lymington. However you may prefer to drive so that you can explore the whole area properly, so leave Lymington in the direction of Milford on Sea. You turn left at the first roundabout, then immediately right into Lower Pennington Lane. If you look at my map http://tinyurl.com/c2shmm you will see that the caravan park is at the end of the lane surrounded by fields and open countryside. You can see the Solent and the Isle of Wight from here. See my website www.cogb.com/lymington for more details.