The Mayor of Winchester opens new nature haven following a green makeover

A previously neglected space in Winchester has been transformed into a family-friendly nature haven.

Somers Close in Stanmore has undergone a makeover thanks to a £25,000 grant and the hard work of a team of local volunteers.

At an event to mark the official opening of the new area, local children were joined by The Mayor of Winchester to enjoy a walk through the woods on a nature trail guided by an ecologist.

Badgers Patch now has a footpath, den building space and a seating area alongside stunning wooden sculptures including a large carved badger, a stag beetle and an owl. Volunteers from the nearby Carroll Centre, and young people from the Amber Project helped make the project possible by clearing overgrown vegetation and rubbish from the site.

The haven has been funded as part of a national scheme to help communities to develop ‘pocket parks’ – Winchester City Council placed the successful bid for funds in partnership with the Carroll Centre, which provides activities for children, young people and families. The site is also home to the 8th Winchester Scouts comprising two scout and three cub units, and Poppins nursery school for children aged 2-5 years old.

Cllr Paula Ferguson, Cabinet Lead for Climate Emergency and Local Economy, said: “This is a fantastic example of how the city council is working with local communities to enhance and preserve our beautiful district. Badgers Patch is now a haven for biodiversity and a family-friendly area that local residents can be really proud of.”

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Patrick Cunningham, said: “I’m delighted to open this magical new nature trail in Stanmore and meet some of the volunteers who made it all possible. Badgers Patch has been made possible by the community working together to transform a neglected area that was blighted by antisocial behaviour, into a new area for local people to enjoy. A massive thank you to everyone who gave up their time to get involved in this wonderful project.”