Region: South West
Knowle Haven is a four hectare former paddock located off Mayles Lane on the edge of Knowle Village, near Fareham, Hampshire. Since 2014 the site has been transformed into a lovely community and wildlife reserve with the support of The Friends of Knowle Haven, a dedicated team of volunteers who are involved on a daily basis. The site was officially opened in May 2017 and is now used by a wide range of community groups, local residents and visitors for recreation and relaxation.
Mayles Lane, Knowle, Fareham, PO15 6DT
Site size: 4 hectares
Daily (dawn to dusk)
The Miner's Arms is open daily and is nearby.
Well controlled dogs welcome.
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.
The site is home to a diverse and increasing range of wildlife.
Dean Copse, Knowle Hospital Cemetary, West Walk Forest, Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve, Fort Nelson
The site contact for our Knowle Haven space is Mike Little Tel: 07568 654667
This space is managed in partnership with The Friends of Knowle Haven
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.”
To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Steve Crosby .
To enquire about holding an event on a Land Trust site, please click here.
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