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Alver Valley


This is the most extensive area of open grassland in Gosport. It is a wonderful opportunity for a good yomp, but there are also easy access paths which are well laid and dry going in all conditions. The whole area is recovered grassland after the natural gravel has been removed and the gravel pits infilled with inert tippings. The whole area has been covered in a heavy clay topsoil and for the most part has been naturally colonised with grasses and flowering plants. There are docks, teasels and at one point a forest of Fennel. Some areas are just a mass of Ox-eye Daisies which give a wonderful show in June-July. The most common and most persistent plant is the Wild Carrot and its dead fruiting stems can be seen everywhere. There are areas which have been planted with a mixture of native trees, Hawthorn, Birch, Oak and Whitebeam. These will eventually form dense woodland but at the moment provide opportunites for blackberries and blackberry pickers amongst the scrub.

Special features

Noah’s Lake, named after a farm field. This is a balancing pond to take and clean up flash water from the Cherque estate. It has two islands which form good resting points for wintering duck and a good nesting site for Coot, Moorhens, Canada Geese and gulls. Especially good for birds in winter and spring. Easily viewed the main pathway.


Allen’s Willows

A line of old oaks from the car park described below to the edge of the Golf Course. It was previously made of willows around a damp tributary of the Alver, but oaks have long ago succeeded the willows. It has the one and only rookery in Lee and in the spring and through the summer is very busy with nesting, cawing Rooks which love to come out and feed on the grasslands.


Noah’s stream, linking the pond with the Alver River and crossed by the Zig-Zag bridge. A rather deep wet gully with Alder trees and Willows. It is fringed with Blackthorn and Roses which give splendid crops of Sloe Berries and Rose Hips in the Autumn and real colour in the spring.

As you cross the Zig-Zag bridge notice the giant Tussock Sedges on the west side. These are quite the most statuesque reeds in Britain.


Junkett Hill

The highest hill in Gosport is made out of inert tippings and reserved topsoil and was intended to be used for landscaping the site. It a mass of grasses and other herbs and very good for butterflies. It is not heavily walked over and is a roosting and nesting site for Meadow Pipit’s and Skylark’s. The South East side is covered in a dense growth of Fennel. If you wish to flavour your fish dish nobody will miss a leaf or two

Sandhill

This is the most southerly tipping site. It is made up of the former rubbish of Gosport and Lee. It has been the longest in use as a public open space and its grass has skylarks and meadow pipits, plus lots of grassland butterflies at the height of summer. It offers a steep climb and splendid views over the Solent and the rest of the Alver Valley.


Sandhill Pond

This lies just to the east of Junkett Hill. Descend the hill and cross the old Sandy Lane Road and it lies before you, well screened with willow. It is a fishing pond for members of the Portsmouth Angling Club. There is nothing to stop you enjoying a view across the pond and there are a number of access points. The pond is deep, lots of water lilies and a few small islands. The islands seem to be the haunt of two resident fishermen. A Heron and a Cormorant who are just waiting to take their share of a well stocked lake. On fine sunny days it is a great place to admire the aerobatics of large Dragonflies.


Access - At the moment you can roam almost anywhere on the site. It is recovered land and intended to be a recreational space for the people of Gosport Borough. It is managed by the Countryside Department of Gosport Borough Council.


There are three points of access from Lee to Upper Alver Valley:

There is a small car park off Cherque Way, just north of the roundabout, (Map ref SU 573 008). There is a made up path leading from this to the old Sandhill Lane (a tarmac road). Cross this and go through a gap in the hedge and you are on to a made up walk way, which skirts the edge of Noah’s lake, down onto the Zig-Zag bridge and along the hedgerow on the far side of Noah’s stream. If you want a short walk head west along the footpath until you rejoin the Sandhill Road just south of Noah’s Lake. Turn north and it brings you back to the footpath leading to the car park. If you want a longer walk you can turn left after you cross the Zig-Zag bridge and this will take you south towards Junkett Hill and beyond.


Via North Browndown Gate on the B3334 (Map ref SZ 578 996.) Cross the traffic lights on the Portsmouth Road at the junction of Cherque Way. Continue along towards Gosport and 25yds on your left hand side (north side) is the iron gate to Browndown. Go through the swing gate on the right hand side and you are on Browndown, go down the hill to the stream and up the other side keep left and left again until you come to the fence. Cross the stile and up onto Sandhill. This offers splendid views in all directions. Choose your own route, but remember you have to make is back again over the stile if you have left a car near Portsmouth Road.


Go to Grange Farm.(map ref SU 585 003, Post Code PO13 8AB) (No Charge). Walk south down the road you have just come in by and turn right through the gate and into Carter’s Copse. A pleasant downhill woodland walk takes you past the oldest military fortification in Gosport. This is a mound which formerly had a Moat and Bailey Fort on it, down to the wonderfully named, ‘Apple Dumpling Bridge’. Stop to listen to ducks, reed warblers and over excited dogs in the Alver River, cross the bridge and up the road on the other side. This will lead you through ancient trees and out into the open. Either turn left and up Sandhill, view the landscape and decide on further action, or as you leave the trees go straight on up the road in front of you which is called Sandhill Lane.


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Browndown South>>


Browndown North>>


Browndown Coastal Area>>


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