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Old Winchester Hill

Located deep in the heart of rural Hampshire, this National Nature Reserve is a relic of the downland landscape that was created by centuries of sheep grazing. The short, springy turf is rich in wild flowers and in the insects that depend on them. In fact, it's one of the best places in Britain for butterflies, with 37 species having been recorded here. Sheep are still used to manage this habitat, otherwise it would revert to scrubland, and eventually to woodland, swamping the wild flowers.

The archaeology is also interesting: Bronze age burial mounds were constructed on the crest of the hill between 4,500 and 3,500 years ago. Later on, about 2,500 years ago, a Celtic chieftain built a hill fort here.

The origin of the name - "Old Winchester Hill" - is obscure; it has no connection with the city of Winchester which is 16km away.

Here is a sample of the pictures that we have taken here.


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