|HCC Site ID:||1659||Parish:||Purbrook|
|Designations:||Being considered for SINC||Area:||c1 ha|
|Access:||Public Access||Ownership:||Public Open Space; Havant Borough Council|
Location and site
Sandy Dell is a public open space which was once the site of an old quarry on the Purbrook estate. It is now within a residential area, with the main access off Sandy Brow and Privett Road.
Sandy Dell originally fell within the Forest of Bere. Around 1760 it became part of the grounds of the first Purbrook Park House, lying c300 yards NE of the house on the edge of open parkland. The Purbrook Park estate was sold in 1919 and its grounds, including Sandy Dell, were bought by Maurice Hill and resold for development.
Initially Sandy Dell was not developed because of topographical difficulties; it contains a sheer drop, created by sand working, and a stream. In 1963 Havant Borough Council bought Sandy Dell for public open space after refusing a planning application for the site. HBC bought Widley Park, south, on the opposite side of the road, under the same circumstances.
Sandy Dell contains three distinct sections: a high grassy area on its eastern boundary with Sandy Brow; a middle wooded area with paths, accessed by steps down from the grassy area; and a stream and a lower grassy area on its western boundary, at the back of Fir Copse Road. In January 1997 John Rowe of Hampshire Wildlife Trust found both parkland and native trees and noted, “On a bright morning the site was alive with small birds.” By late March he had found 92 species of flora, 18 of which were Ancient Woodland Vascular Plants.
Originally the site was part of the Forest of Bere. In the late 18th century it was incorporated into the grounds of the first Purbrook Park House. It is now a small sliver of Borough-owned green space amongst suburban housing with a small, partly culverted stream running north. Varied topography: high grassy area east, middle section of woodland, and lower section of stream, with further grassy area west. Complements Widley Park opposite. Haven for wild birds. Varied flora includes ancient woodland indicator plants.
HGT Research: Summer 2000