Copse Mead

What to look out for

This is a 1.44 hectare site of semi-improved acid grassland with hedgerows around. There are a number of species of grass including meadow foxtail and cocksfoot. Herbs include birdsfoot trefoil, creeping cinquefoil, oxeye daisy, fleabane, field scabious, and lesser stitchwort. Bluebells appear in spring. Given this site’s position in amongst a large number of houses, you might also spot some garden escapees including Spanish bluebell, Michaelmas daisy, three corned leak, montbretia and cultivated daffodils. Look out for oak, rowan, apple and grey willow with hawthorn blossoming in Spring.

You are likely to see a variety of butterflies including common blue, gatekeeper, Meadow brown, Marbled white, ringlet and orange tip. Listen out for the great green bush cricket and lots of common garden birds. Additionally the site is visited by kestrel, swallow, swift, Willow warbler , whitethroat and blackcap. If you are lucky you may spot a fox, hedgehog or bank vole.

Managing the site

Formally farmland this site was acquired in 1955 for an extension for the cemetery and was subsequently grazed and used as allotments. Following a number of attempts to develop the site it was leased to Wight Nature Fund in 2007 and declared a nature reserve in 2011. Wight Nature Fund handed back management to Isle of Wight Council in 2021, and it joined the Gift to Nature portfolio in April 2022. During our first year we will follow the sites exiting management plan which includes an annual mow, and assess any amendments we feel may be necessary.

How to get there

On foot/By bike – The site can be accessed from Cemetery Road, just off James Avenue. The grass access is from the roundabout near the cemetery entrance. There are currently no cycle racks on site.

By bus – Cemetery Road (Routes 2 and 3) and 10 minutes walk. (Bus Timetables)

By Car – There is no car park on this site but there is street parking nearby. Approximate code for your sat nav is PO37 7DR.

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Paths through the site are unsurfaced and can be muddy particularly during the winter months. There are no internal gates or stiles.

There are no nearby public toilets. The nearest toilets are in the towns of Sandown and Shanklin.

We will be updating our Site Access Statements during 2022. Please watch this space.

Get involved

There are various ways you can help improve and maintain our sites. We rely on volunteers to help with many tasks on our sites and also need people who are happy to regular visit the site be our “eyes and ears”, this means we can respond much quicker to issues. Our shop raises money to support our work and needs a team of volunteers. Or maybe you would like to help us with events. Find out more here.

You can also help by becoming one of our regular supporters. Even giving a few pounds each month can make a real difference, with your donation being invested into site management and improvement work to benefit site visitors and look after our precious wildlife. Sign up here.