Wildlife and Conservation in the Horndean Area
Horndean Trees
Hampshire Wildlife Trust Southdown Group
Local Countryside
Tree Wardens Page
Dell Piece West
The Hedgerow Page
The Pond Page
Our Wildlife Garden
Flint and Fossil Page

Dell Piece West

Dell Piece West (DPW) is a small area (c.2ha) of the Horndean countryside that survived the building of the A3(M) motorway 20 years ago, then an industrial estate to the north and finally a supermarket and filling station 6 years ago.

Which would you rather see - A 10-screen cinema or this beautiful woodland glade ?
These two pictures of bluebells and oaks were taken on 6th May 2007 precisely on the site of the10-screen cinema that was proposed back in 1997. DPW still continues to come up with surprises, with new species being discovered every year. This year there is a notable increase in the regeneration of young oaks as seen in the next two pictures. Most of the mature oaks (x6) have TPOs on them but one was mysteriously and illegally felled in 1996, just before the planning applications were submitted, blamed on travellers that took over the site at that time. The amazing result was that a circle of young oaks grew around the old stump from the tree's acorns. If anyone had been prosecuted they would have been saved their obligation to replant on the same site! These oaks are truly of local providence (same DNA!) and can restore or 'inherit' the TPO.

Maybe the south western corner of the site will once again return to oakwood. It is good to see that the local Countryside Team have made a great effort to remove the Turkey Oaks that were taking over but there are still a number of suckers growing and will need dealing with to let the original native stock flourish. The timber piles from these felled oaks are providing excellent habitats for lizards etc and returning nutrients to the soil.

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The Good News -- EHDC has owned dell Piece West since the building of the supermarket. Now after 10 years ownership of the site (on behalf of the public) DPW is being transferred to Horndean Parish Council. The HPC countryside team will now be able to manage the site for the benefit of local inhabitants and wildlife, allowing a greater input from local people, something that could have happened when DPW was declared a SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation). Only Hazleton Common was handed over.

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Taken from Lakesmere Road south of the pond. The broad belt of trees along the A3 in the distance form an excellent backcloth to the site as well as a shelter for birds and other wildlife.
A small booklet "The Wildlife and Natural Features of DELL PIECE WEST" describes the geology, soil, habitats and species recorded up to October 1999, at which time DPW was declared a S.I.N.C.. Copies are still available from Horndean Parish Council office, Blendworth Lane, Horndean, PO8 0AA or from John Vigay

Further surveys have been carried out increasing the number of species present to well over 300, monitoring the site shows many changes in the presence or abundance of wildlife.

This website aims to highlight the wildlife with a pictorial record. These maps give some idea of the history and changes that have taken place over the last hundred years.

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A map from 1870 showing the Dell Piece West area.
Click on image to view the full size map. (170K GIF)
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A map from 1990 showing the Dell Piece West area.

(Click here to see a detailed map)

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As Dell Piece West looked in December 1990, before Safeways was thought of!
All the trees in view had Tree Preservation Orders on them
and Lakesmere Road was yet to be built.

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Five years later, in the summer of 1995, looking towards the motorway.
The pond had an 'island' of rushes in the centre.
Many young oaks and vegetation were springing up around the large oak.

Photos taken at Dell Piece West
Click on thumbnails to view Dell Piece West Photo Gallery

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Spring flowers under large oak
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Pink Wood Anemones
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Wood Anemones
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Bluebells at Dell Piece West
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Ground Ivy
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Wood Spurge
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Mass of violets - Apr 2007
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Dell Piece West in the spring
(All of the above photos were taken on 12th April 2002)

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Dell Piece West
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Dell Piece West
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A recent picture showing the pond
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Pfeiffer's Amber Snail
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Orb Spider
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Wasp Spider
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Red Darter Dragonfly
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Long-winged Conehead

Day flying moths at Dell Piece West and Dragonfly seen in June 2002
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Mother Shipton Moth (Callistege mi)
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Small Copper - 22nd Apr 2007
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Burnet Companion Moth (Euclidea glyphica)
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Broad bodied chaser (Libellula depressa) female

Further rarities seen at Dell Piece West
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Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)
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Ladybird Fly (Gymnosoma rotundatum)
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Oak Eggar Moth (Lasiocampa quercus)

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