Castle Bottom

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Do you have a question about Castle Bottom? Seen a plant or animal you can't identify?

Ask a ranger and we will try to help! We will aim to get back to you with an answer within 3 working days.

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16 questions so far


06/09/2016 03:08pm


Hi, walking at Castle Bottom this morning I found a large amount of litter in and around the stream (drinks, bottles, cigarette packets etc). I removed as much as I could carry. There are also a lot of logs placed across the stream impeding the flow of the water. I moved some of these out of the stream, but there are several left that I couldn't move.

The Ranger Replies

Thank you for collecting as much litter as you could, I will be there Thursday so will collect the rest. There are some species of dragonfly at Castle Bottom that rely on there being logs/sticks in the water as they lay their eggs on them. So I will put the logs back in, but in a way they aren't blocking the stream. Thank you for reporting this to us.



22/04/2016 10:06am


Hi, I am currently creating a research project about the positive and negative effects of tourism in rural areas. One of the areas I am researching is Castle Bottom, I have found lots of information about the negative effects of tourism in the area but am struggling to find many positive effects, is there any you could think of?

Thanks in advance,


The Ranger Replies

For sites that have sensitive wildlife, such as ground nesting birds that are easily disturbed, tourism is often negative through no deliberate activity of tourists. Positive effects of people visiting our sites is that they can become engaged with the wildlife, the habitats of the site and therefore want to protect it and look after it themselves, and therefore support the work carried out on site.

Good luck with the project.



02/03/2016 10:38am



As I was jogging through the valley this afternoon, I saw an animal that I struggled to identify and wonder if you might know more.

Initially, from a distance, I thought it was a young deer, but as I got closer it looked more like a young boar, apart from its vibrant coat colouring. It was almost gingery brown, like a fox, and it had a wide stripe going down his spine.

Have you seen anything similar to my description? Can you confirm that an animal such as this one has been seen in the reserve before?

Many thanks,


The Ranger replies

Thank you for your interesting enquiry. The only thing I can think it might be is a young deer, possibly a muntjac deer. They are generally gingery brown in colour and the young have white spots on their backs. Have a look on the internet and I am sure you will see what I mean!

Muntjac are a non-native deer but are quite common in this area.



04/09/2015 01:01pm

Mike Carrington

Are the cottages stil standing and accessible in the Castle Botom reserve? I recently walked through the reserve but was unable to locate the site.

Thanks for your response.

The Ranger replies

Thank you for your interest in the site. Unfortunately, the cottages at castle Bottom have not been standing for many years now. Remnants of them (some piles of brick work) can still be found, but that is about all. They are to the north west of the site, near the northern boundary with Kits Croft. OS grid reference SU7978559789.

If you would like any further information, please telephone our office on 01252 870425 or email us at .



13/08/2015 02:56pm


Hello, my 4 children and I love spending a lot of time at Castlebottom. Over the past few days, the horses have been quite a problem for us, rearing and running towards us. This is quite unnerving and yesterday they scared away a big group of teenagers who were just sitting and chatting and enjoying the countryside like we were. Who do the horses belong to? I like horses but this is not the first time we've had problems with the horses here. thanks


Castle Bottom is a National Nature Reserve and as such is managed for conservation, access to the site is gained through provision laid down in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. It should be remembered that this site is not a recreational park and the presence of the ponies is a very important part of the National Nature Reserves management. These animals are not pets, rather being used primarily for grazing of conservation sites, however we do not normally have problems with them and will assess their behaviour. If they do get to close for comfort a shout and a clap of the hands is normally sufficient to disburse the animals.

Thanks The Ranger Team

I have now been to have an assessment of these animals and cannot find any problems with their behaviour. Mostly I would describe them as timid and wary of the encounter. The small two grey ponies eventually let me give them a pat and scratch behind the ear as did the chestnut one, the larger piebald was shy and did not let me touch him. However I certainly noticed no aggression. I sat down amongst them and was mostly completely ignored. If you have any more concerns please contact us @

Thanks again

The Ranger Team



21/04/2015 04:02pm

Julie-Ann Stone

I have visited Castle Bottom and seen the beginning of a shelter being constructed at the bottom of the steps by the small bridge. Is this a planned construction?

Thank you

Hi Julie

We wil investigate.  Many thanks for your interest.


The Ranger Team.



10/02/2015 02:19pm

paul blanchard

is there an electronic version of a map available showing the permissive paths through the Castle Bottom site?

The Ranger replies

All Rights of Way in Hampshire are mapped and can be found online at You can use this interactive map to find a location by post code; in the case of Castle Bottom this would be RG27 0QA (Cooper's Hill). This online map uses Ordnance Survey information and all tracks are detailed. I trust this answers your question.




11/12/2014 01:37pm

lisa keen

Hello are you able to tell me where the highland cattle herd will be grazing on 21 December 2014? Or let me know who would know? My mum adores highland cattle and would love to look at them. Thank you

The Ranger replies

Highland cattle have not grazed Castle Bottom for two seasons now and unfotunately it is unlikely that they will be back. The availibility of cattle from 3rd party graziers is increasingly difficult to find and as such, we have been grazing with just New Forest ponies. I am unaware of any other Highland cattle grazing herds in this part of the county. Regards.



24/11/2014 09:40am

Mrs Tracy Budge


We have two Highlands heifers coming up to 6 years old. They are pets on our land, and as much as we love them we think it may be time to find them another home as we are struggling with their grazing.

If you are interested in the cows or can offer us any advice, we would very much appreciate talking to you.

Kind Regards

Tracy Budge

The Ranger Replies

Tracy, perhaps you could email us direct at and we could have a chat.

Many thanks.



24/11/2014 09:39am

Harriet Wigmore-Welsh

Do you take on students for work experience I'm looking for something in January.

The Ranger Replies

Thank you for your question. We do take placement students, but we need to know a little more about what you are doing, how a placement with us might help and what your interests are. Perhaps you could email us direct at and we could arrange for you to come in for a chat.


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