|HCC Site ID:||1822||Parish:||Hart Plain Havant|
|Access:||Public Access||Ownership:||Public Open Space. Havant District Council lease from Portsmouth City Council|
Location and Site
Wecock Common is in the Cowplain area of Havant to the west of the A3 London Road and surrounded by residential housing. It is remnant of the Forest of Bere.
Wecock Common once formed part of the Forest of Bere dating back at least 300 – 500 years. The present common was defined by earth banks which date back to the same period. Between 1810 and 1870 much of the land outside the banks was cleared for farmland. In the 1970s the land outside the banks became housing.
With the exception of some veteran yews, the oldest trees are growing on the boundary banks. The trees in the centre are only c150 years, suggesting that the woodland has been thinned and managed. The centre also contains coppiced hazel. A survey in 2000 by John Rowe of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust found mostly oak, with an under layer of yew, holly, crab apple and birch. Of 80 species of flora recorded, 22 were Ancient Woodland Vascular Plants (HGT – online).Wecock Common supports a large number and variety of wild birds and butterflies, and in spring it is a bluebell wood.
Summary and significance
Wecock Common is a surviving fragment of the Forest of Bere. Historical boundary banks preserve the ancient woodland which is now surrounded by housing developments.
HGT Research: Summer 2000, July 2017
(HGT) – Hampshire Gardens Trust research – http://research.hgt.org.uk/item/wecock-common/ – accessed 10.08.17.