Knowle Park (Old)
In 2006 the Parish Council was gifted a 35-acre site consisting of 6 large agricultural fields by John Gosney, a local farmer. The site is now being developed into a public open space so local residents and its wildlife can enjoy it.
The site is bordered by ancient woodland to the northeast, has a high ridge running across it giving extensive views towards the Isle of Wight to the south and the Itchen valley to the west. This area is a haven for wildlife. Deer and birds of prey are a common sight and there is also evidence of badger activity.
The main access is currently closed (reopening in the Autumn 2017). There are 5 other pedestrian access points including kissing gates at ‘The Beeches’ and at Knowle Lane. Parking is available via Knowle Lane (adjacent to allotments) there is no restriction on times at this car park. (Please note both car parks are designated park and stride car parks).
Once the park is fully developed the two communities will have a green space to be proud of and it will provide a rural buffer between the villages. We have already planted over 300 trees, a skate park has been installed and a playground has recently opened. An allotment site at Knowle Lane has been open for approximately two years now and we have reserved a piece of land next to it to build a new cemetery, but this won’t be required for some time yet. We have planted extensive hedging around both these areas to screen them.
The Council received a generous grant from Veolia, so this year extensive developments have already taken place, and with more scheduled for this autumn and winter. Over 1 kilometre of paths have now been laid, so it should be accessible to most places throughout the year. A pond with a boardwalk has been built and an old silted up marsh area cleared and a dipping platform installed. The viewing mound is being constructed and we plan to install seating & bins shortly. Hundreds of native trees and shrubs will be planted over the coming months and we will also create wildflower meadows.
Two sculptured stone acorns now welcome you to the park and a wrought iron fence with 3D flowers is being constructed. A hand made wooden circular seat with native animal footprints is in place under one of the majestic oak trees.
Many people are already enjoying the park and watching it evolve into something very special. If you are exercising your dogs we kindly ask that any mess is removed and disposed of responsibly.
A outline plan of the park can be accessed here