Knowle Haven Nature Reserve

Region: South West

Since 2014 this former grazing paddock has been transformed into a lovely community nature reserve and is now a flourishing haven for wildlife. The reserve is managed in partnership with The Friends of Knowle Haven a dedicated group of volunteers working to ensure the conservation, protection and improvement of the reserve for all to enjoy. The reserve is used by a wide range of community groups, local residents and visitors and is a great place for wildlife spotting.

The Present and the Future

Knowle Haven is managed in partnership with The Friends of Knowle Haven for the benefit of the local community and wildlife. The Friends look after the site on a day-to day-basis and run community events.

Knowle Haven Nature Reserve Contact

The site contact for our Knowle Haven Nature Reserve space is Mike Little Tel: 07867 757214

This space is managed in partnership with The Friends of Knowle Haven

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Daily (dawn to dusk)

Car Parking

Yes (What3Words location ///fizzled.clashing.centuries).


(click here to find the nearest public toilets)


The Miner's Arms is open daily and is nearby.

Entrance cost







Well controlled dogs welcome.

Things to do

Picnic areas, sculptures, carved benches, community orchard, vegetable plot, wildlife ponds, beetle banks, bee hives, wildflower meadow, wildlife watching, bird spotting, community activities and events.

Conservation, Wildlife, Flora, Fauna

The site is home to a diverse and increasing range of wildlife.

Other nearby attractions

Dean Copse, Knowle Hospital Cemetary, West Walk Forest, Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve, Fort Nelson

Other Links

View the link


Mayles Lane, Knowle, Fareham, Hampshire , PO15 6DT

Site size: 4 hectares


There are currently no events relating to this space.

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The land was formerly part of the estate of the Hampshire County Lunatic Asylum which opened in 1852 and then went through a number of extensions to cover a 100-acre site known as Knowle Farm.

The Asylum, later Knowle Mental Hospital (1923) and then Knowle Hospital (1948), reached its peak in the 1950s with almost 2,000 patients housed before finally closing in 1996.

Berkeley Homes purchased a large part of the hospital site and started development of Knowle Village in 2000, securing approval to deliver 500 homes within 53 acres of the former hospital site.


Knowle Haven has benefited from a highly successful partnership established by the Land Trust with local volunteer group The Friends of Knowle Haven.

Led by local resident Mike Little, the former paddock has been transformed into a brilliant community asset.

The commitment, and tireless dedication of Mike was recognised at the Land Trust awards in 2018 with Mike being named Volunteer of the Year, after giving over 1,500 hours of his time to the site.

Mike, who opens up and litter picks Knowle Haven every day, has completed much of the development of the Haven himself, learning new skills and undertaking training to benefit the site and his own personal development. This training allowed Mike to relay the car park which had developed a problem with flooding.

Mike credits the work he does at Knowle Haven with a significant improvement in his physical and mental wellbeing.

As well as Mike being recognised with his individual award, the transformation of the site by the Friends was also acknowledged with the Project of the Year award. This award was recognition of the impact the site has had on the local community, which includes the Friday Night Club, a charity that supports adults with physical and mental health disabilities who meet and carry out gardening, art and other activities on site.

The Friends of Knowle Haven are also working hard to involve the nearby mental health facility, the local Mosque and schools, colleges and community groups in the area.

The project has also increased local biodiversity with six working bee hives introduced, 135 indigenous trees planted, a hedgerow and a 40 tree community orchard.

Land Trust, director of portfolio management, Alan Carter, said:

“The progress that has been made at Knowle Haven since it opened just over 12 months ago made it a very worthy winner of our Project of the Year award.

“The site is a shining example of what can be achieved with just a relatively small area of green space and has become a very important part of the local community.”

Land Trust Contact

To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Countryside & Greenspace Officer (South & West) Jake Taylor .

To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.

Our other spaces in the South West

How you can help

We are always on the look out for enthusiastic, committed people who want to make a real and lasting difference in their local community.

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