Hampshire Countryside Service

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Do you have a question about Zebon Copse? Seen a plant or animal you can't identify?

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14 questions so far


15/06/2016 01:42pm


Any plans to visit Zebon Copse soon - it looks appalling. up to my armpits in stinging nettles whilst walking the dogs. Can you tell me why there is never any work going on at Zebon Copse and lots of activity at Elvetham Heath, Fleet Pond, Yateley, etc.  

The Ranger Replies

Thank you for your enquiry about Zebon Copse. The site is managed under Higher Level Stewardship (HLS), a grant funding scheme overseen by Natural England. As such, this winter we had contractors coppice another area of woodland, whilst volunteers and rangers were cutting scrub in the mire. The volunteer work party were in the Copse with a ranger putting up coppice stool protection and litter picking last Sunday; they carry out work there every month. In between the work parties, we regularly visit the site to carry out surveys, litter picking, boardwalk maintenance and a variety of other tasks during the summer. We have also recently had tree surgeons carrying out emergency tree works to unhealthy trees. Work to cut back the vegetation from the paths is in our upcoming work plan. The wet and warm weather has meant the vegetation has grown very quickly over the last couple of weeks. Fleet Pond and Elvetham Heath aren't our sites. Under the same type of funding scheme that covers Zebon Copse, lots of work was carried out on Yateley Common this year as part of the efforts to increase the heathland, much as we are trying to manage the woodland at Zebon Copse



31/05/2016 02:41pm

Jane Pugh

Our 11 year son is a keen Arachnologist and hence we were delighted to find a beautiful looking spider at the Wetland Mire in the middle of Zebon Copse. We have identified this as a Dolemedes sp or Raft spider. We have now seen 2 quite different spiders: once with bright yellow banding and other individuals with bright white banding and spotted lines. We think that we have seen both D. fimbriatus and D. plantarius. We have reported these sitings to the http://www.dolomedes.org.uk/ as well as the Spider recording Program and have sent pictures also. We have some lovely photos that we would love to share with you. Are you aware that the Fen Raft Spider is living in the Mire Habitat ? Kind regards Jane and Joshua Pugh, Church Crookham

The Ranger Replies

How lovely to hear you had such a good time investigating the mire at Zebon Copse. We did know that the raft was present at the site. It would be interesting to hear more about what the spider recording program think of the results and to see the photos taken. If you could contact us at northern.sites@hants.gov.uk, that would be great.



08/10/2015 10:24am

John Anderson


I live in Zebon Copse and work in Fleet.

I work for Barclays bank and they introduced an initiative, after the recent financial collapse, where it would give something back to the community. This initiative has far ranging scope but one of the points is that it should be for the benefit of local community.

So I was wondering if I and colleagues from Barclays can help with any work that needs to be done in Zebon Copse woodland or parkland FOR FREE for a day :-)

We are all offices workers but are enthusiastic and keen to get our hands dirty to help with any project that would help the local community. As I live in Zebon Copse I wondered if there were any jobs you thought unskilled workers might be able to assist with

- litter picking

- wood clearing

- path fixing

- fence fixing

- anything else

I am not sure how many people we would get but it would be at least me and possibly up to 5 or 6 others.

if you feel our help could be used or have any questions you want to ask then please feel free to get back in touch with me.

And it really is for free :-)


John Anderson

The Ranger replies

Many thanks for your message and offer of work. This is something we would be very interested in. The Ranger who looks after Zebon Copse will be in touch with you about the opportunities we have on site, but I'm sure that they would welcome you offer as there is always something that needs doing! We will be in touch shortly. Regards.



02/09/2015 02:32pm

Wendy Scott


I live on Zebon copse and whilst walking my dog everyday I wonder whether I can pick the fruit from the damson trees, obviously just a few. Am I allowed too.

Kind regards

Wendy Scott

The Ranger Replies

Hi, most of the trees in the grassed areas around Zebon Copse woodland itself are owned and managed by Hart District Council - the ones with much of the fruit on, like the plums etc. The trees and shrubs within the woodland, i.e. within the fenced areas, are our responsibility as the owner of this parcel of land. As a member of the public you are entitled to 'the four F's' - fruit, flowers, fungi and foliage, as long as they are for your own use and not for sale. Obviously, we would ask that if you do pick anything, you do so at your own risk, particularly as some fruits and fungi can be dangerous to eat. Also, that, like you said, you do not take vast quantities and leave some remaining for others to enjoy.




14/05/2015 10:01am

Pit Pitcairnhill

Got as far as Redfields roundabout but the Housing rds seem a jigsaw' & the nature reserve Community Centre wasn't marked. Any Directions to help?

Tks Pit

Hi There Pit

I will try to describe the route through to the comunity centre.

Entering from Redfields Roundabout take the third left onto Daphne Drive, though a taffic pinch to a T.  

At the T turn right onto Browning Road.

Keep on Browning Road to the next T - turn left onto Danvers Drive

Keep on Danvers Drive untill you get to the communtiy centre.

I hope that helps you find the site.

Best regards

The Ranger Team



02/06/2015 11:37am

Christopher Martineau


I would like to book a pond dipping session for 20 cub scouts on Friday 5th June at 6.30 if possible.

Could you send details of costs and any booking forms required.



Hello Chris

Sorry for the delay in reply to this request.  This system is not really used for booking such requests as it is an open page system with no privacy.

Please could you direct requests for such activities to northern.sites@hants.gov.uk

Many thanks

The Ranger Team



02/10/2014 03:52pm


I saw a squirrell in Zebon woods this morning that was almost completely red except for the side of its face which were grey. Markings quite defined. Just a grey squirrell with a lot of red? Or have we got some sort of hybrid?

The Ranger replies

These kind of markings are actually quite common. It is a reversal of the usual grey squirrel with red markings on its face. More than likely a subtype of the grey squirrel. We do have black and 'brunette' squirrels appearing in the UK, all sub-species of either the grey or the red.



14/06/2014 06:02pm

Craig Morris

I live in Camus Close and wanted to know the impact to the Copse of residents in The road opening their gardens up to use the Buffer zone established between their property boundry and the Copse

The Ranger replies

The main problem with garden boundaries opening directly onto the Copse is fly tipping in terms of garden waste, and with that comes the introduction of non-native species, things like yellow archangel, rhododendron and other garden plants. The buffer zone is exactly that, a buffer, creating a semi-natural safeguard between housing development and natural spaces such as Zebon Copse. Wildlife gardening can be achieved to minimise the impacts.



11/10/2013 11:48am

Sarah Tucker

My daughter was walking our dog yesterday afternoon in Zebon near the canal. She was stung by what she describes as an enormous orange hornet. There were several & they actively chased her as she ran to escape. The sting is still painful, much more so than, for example, a normal wasp sting. Have you had any other reports of these orange hornets? If so, we think it would be prudent to warn people of their presence. My daughter was very upset by it & doesn't want anyone else to stumble across them, if indeed they are living in Zebon.

A Ranger replies

I am sorry to hear that your daughter has been stung and that she was so upset by it. I hope she is recovering now. We have not had any other reported incidents.

It does sound like a Hornet, although they are often calmer and far less likely to chase and sting people than the “normal” social wasps. It might be that there is a nest locally which had been stirred up by being disturbed by something else, like a woodpecker and unfortunately, your daughter came along at the wrong time. All of the social wasps can become dopy at this time year, so can be more likely to sting. It’s quite possible that they are nesting in an old tree in this area, but would not normally consider Hornets to be much of a risk though. We will of course look into the matter to try and ascertain if there is a nest nearby.



09/09/2013 08:29am


this is a question for the zebon copse ranger who was on duty today 4/9/13 I was surprised to see what was in zebon copse this evening when I took my eldest son for our evening stroll. My son said it all to be honest What have they done here daddy they have ruined it? was his words to see what you guys call coppicing in the Zebon wood Fantastic that great care was taken you can see how neatly your crafts people took off branches  Ummm woodland management  What did we see in the woods today was a joke normaly a perfect start and end to a day disgracfull

A ranger replies

It is always easy to look at such works when they are in process and take a dim view of such management. Part way through a job, branches may be left un trimmed and the place can look a mess. However these works are being undertaken with the consent and approval of both Natural England and the Forestry Commission. Next spring once the cutting is complete and the hazel stands have been protected from deer the benefits to the woodland will be clear. The extra light to the ground will encourage the spread of ground flora, which will benefit a whole range of wildlife including small mammals. The hazel stands will bush out thickly providing suitable nesting sites for scrub nesting birds and a range of invertebrates will benefit from the extra light which can penetrate the canopy.

Already butterflies and dragonflies can be seen using the area and I would expect this to improve greatly, hopefully we might see such butterflies as silver washed fritillaries on a more frequent basis.

There are a total of six coops that have been planned for cutting over a 12 year rotation, so one coop every two years. This will provide for a range of successional stages of growth within the woodland, maximising diversity and providing a wide range of habitats within the wood. Some of the wood has been deemed not suitable for coppice reintroduction and will be left as mainly non intervention woodland.

All of our rangers are qualified in conservation management or another biological discipline and all of the works are being undertaken as part of nature conservation grant schemes.


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