Woolmer Forest Heritage Society

The Natural history of Hollywater on the Woolmer Forest at Bordon in Hampshire

Hollywater and its Natural History

Total area - 104 Hectares

The location is centred on British National Grid reference SU806341. Hollywater is a small hamlet on the edge of Woolmer Forest. It is first mentioned in1350 as 'la Holewatre juxta Iveleybrigge'. Owing to its relatively isolated position it had, until fairly recently, remained unaltered. It originated as an assart in Woolmer Forest and still has several cottages dating back to the 16th Century. The fields are small and are mostly used for smallholding and the grazing of horses. This has led to the retention of their medieval boundaries of ditches and banks topped with oak trees

In Hollywater the Hollywater River is joined by a small stream, the Deadwater to become the River Deadwater. This flows from the south to north through the area and the water is clear, unpolluted and well oxygenated. It contains Brown Trout, Brook Lampreys and Beautiful Demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo). The fields adjoining it flood after heavy rain, and this occurs all year round.

The soil is lower greensand and supports Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and Southern Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza praetermissa). Hollywater has largely escaped cultivation owing to its inclusion in Woolmer Forest and later within areas owned by the MOD and National Trust, the two latter both having SPA and SSSI status.

Hollywater Farm is composed of unimproved and partially improved wet grassland with some additional elevated dry unimproved grassland areas. The westernmost meadow supports large numbers of Meadow Thistle typical of old hay meadows. All the other fields on the farm contain Common Spotted Orchids, Ladies Smock, Silverweed, Ragged Robin, some Devil's Bit Scabious and smaller amounts of Meadow Thistle.

The adjacent parish of Bramshott and Liphook contains Passfield Common and Hollywater Green owned by the National Trust. It is part of the Woolmer Forest SSSI and the Wealden Heaths Phase ll SPA. Hollywater Green is an extensive area of tussocky, tall-herb fen, lightly grazed by cattle. It contains the Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi), Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) and Adderstongue fern (Ophioglossum vulgatum).

Hollywater Pond had its dam, leat and sluices reinstated by the National Trust in 1986-7. The pond is shallow with extensive beds of marginal water plants including Angelica (Angelica sylvestris) and Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga). It also contains Swan Mussels (Anodonta cygnea)

     UK BAP Species

          Nightjar   Caprimulgus europaeus
          Starling   Sturnus vulgaris
          Marsh Tit   Poecile palustris
          Bullfinch   Pyrrhula pyrrhula
          House Sparrow   Passer domesticus
          Song Thrush   Turdus philomelos
          Brown Trout   Salmo trutta
          Bullhead   Cottus gabio
          Adder   Vipera beris
          Grass Snake   Natrix natrix
          Slow Worm   Anguis fragilis
          Common Toad   Bufo bufo
          Water Vole   Arvicola terrestris
          Badger   Meles meles
          29 BAP species of Moths including :-
          Double Line   Mythimna turca

Click an image to enlarge
Marsh Tit
Bull finch
House Sparrow
Song Thrush
Brown Trout
Grass Snake
Slow Worm
Common Toad
Water Vole

     Hampshire BAP Priority Habitat Action Plans

          Lowland Heath
          Acid Grassland

Low Land Heath
Acid Grass Land

     Hampshire Notables

          Large Bitter Cress   Cardamine amara
          Brook Lamprey   Lampetra planeri

Large Bitter Cress
Brook Lamprey