Alice Holt

 

Alice Holt Forest (FC), East Hampshire.  The forest consist of seven inclosures that lie on varying geology, from heavy Gault Clay in the west and south, to Tertiary sands and gravels in the north and east.  The woods on clay are best for sallows and for Emperors.  Straits Inclosure, at Frith End, is the most popular area, though most of the main ride sallows were felled early in 2010 - this was the main breeding area.  The Straits gets very busy at weekends and parking is limited (at SU 805402, or SU 804404 and enter via the footpath).  The main rides of Lodge Inclosure, Abbots Wood Inclosure and Willows Green Inclosure are equally good for Emperors, and are all easy access.  The BC Hampshire Branch reserve at Bentley Station Meadow is a major breeding ground and affords good viewing – but only when the wind is not blowing from the west.  The reserve is best for iris in northerly or easterly winds. 

Eleven 'Master Tree' areas are known in Alice, of which by far the best is Goose Green Old Car Park, immediately SW of the Bucks Horn Oak cross roads.  Park at the gated entrance, at SU 80572 41668, and walk in along the made-up surface, and look for Emperors patrolling the oak tops or perched in gaps high in the oak canopy along the summit, south of the way-leave.  The best spot is the sweet chestnut tree on the summit, viewed from to the east at SU 80502 41629. 

The deciduous parts of Alice are also good for White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary.