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Browndown North

(Sometimes known as Browndown Common)

This is an area of heathland, oak woodland and wet pasture. It lies north of the main road to Gosport the B3334. It is well sheltered and makes a very good outdoor walk on blustery days. The heathland is extensive and gives a really good show of heathers in late July and August. The show of Gorse is unique because it starts with the Common Gorse early in the year with a brilliant show of yellow and as that fades in July and August the Dwarf Gorse among the Bracken and Heather gives a really clashy show of yellow against purple. The pathway is circular and well sheltered by Willow and Birch Scrub from the Southwest Winds. At its north end you can walk through a small area of ancient oak woodland, which has some big trees which were formerly pollarded, so that cattle could graze underneath without damaging new growth. This together with the oaks of the Wildgrounds form the largest area of ancient woodland pasture in the county. The heathland together with the Gorse make a good habitat for Dartford Warblers and the woodland has a tremendous chorus of woodland birds in the spring. The meadowland area near the Alver River gives a great show of Ox-eye daisies and Yellow and Purple Vetchlings in July. The MOD maintain this area for foot soldier exercises The site is designated as a SINC (Site of Importance to Nature Conservation). A local MOD committee consult and guide conservation work.

Access - It is open at all times to the public as the MOD do not use this area for high risk exercises. Access is at two main points.

For those arriving by car the easiest and most pleasant is to park at Grange Farm. (map ref SU 585 003, Post Code PO13 8AB) (No Charge). Go south down the road you have just come in by and turn right through the gate and into Carter’s Copse. A pleasant downhill woodland walk takes you past the oldest military fortification in Gosport. This is a mound which formerly had a Moat and Bailey Fort on it, down to the wonderfully named, ‘Apple Dumpling Bridge’. Stop to listen to ducks, reed warblers and over excited dogs in the Alver River, cross the bridge and up the other side and turn left, (South) through a narrow gate in a stout iron fence. You are into the ancient woodland on the north end of North Browndown. Walk south through this and you will come to open heathland. Continue on the track provided and a mile and half of walking on the circular route will bring you back to where you started.

On foot from West Lee. Cross the complex junction, between Portsmouth Road and Cherque Way. The cluster of traffic lights on the B3334 does allow for pedestrian control. Continue for 25 yds on the footpath- cycle path on the north side of the Portsmouth Road and on your left (North) there is a steel gate. Go through the swing gate at the side and you are straight onto Browndown North. It is suggested that at the first junction you turn right (east). This brings you into shelter and away from the noise of traffic. Continue on the circular route and you will come back to where you started. Map ref for the gate is SZ 578 996.

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Or Explore further:

Browndown South>>

Alver Valley>>

Browndown Coastal Area>>