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About us

Miller’s Pond Nature Reserve & Sholing Valleys Study Centre

Spanning around 20 acres, Miller’s Pond is Southampton’s oldest and most diverse Local Nature Reserve. Since 1988, Sholing Valleys Study Centre has been working as a registered charity to preserve Miller’s Pond its surrounding areas, whilst educating the public about this unique environment and the wildlife found here. We are lucky to be located along the Shoreburs Greenway. A Beautiful 3.5 miles walk that leads from Southampton waters where the Itchen meets Weston shore, all the way up to Bursledon Road. Being placed halfway along the greenway means we are visited by many different species that wouldn't otherwise be able to live here. We have recorded almost 1000 different species, and we are adding to it all the time to with our BioBlitz events. We've had Otters, Grizzled Skippers, 37 species of spiders, 27 butterflies, 63 moths, even sittings of the White tailed eagle, We keep a record of them here

The different habitats we have on site are: 

  • Acid wildflower grassland

  • Fenland - Small boggy area at the north end of the pond

  • Deciduous woodland - Mainly younger trees, as it was all a brickworks as recently as 100 years ago. 

  • Spring fed pond - Hence the name Miller's Pond! Is currently undergoing a lot of work to restore it. 

 

We are all volunteers, but despite that we still have an amazing programme of that we run:

  • Conservation Days - public and corporate

  • Educational ‘Naturewatch’ sessions for children

  • Guided nature walks

  • Talks and lectures

  • Open Days

  • Family Fun Day events

  • Course Fishing

Local groups including Schools, Colleges, Scouts and Guides, home School groups, and the local Police also make use of our facilities. If you would like to find out more about using the space for your own group, please contact us using the form on this website.

About Us: About Us

Volunteer Conservation Days

Promoting Wellbeing & Green Gyms

If you like being outdoors, we'd love to have you spend time with us at our volunteer conservation days. Engagement with nature and green spaces is proven to boost wellbeing, improve mental health, and reduce stress. With a Local Nature Reserve right on your doorstep, you can benefit from all we have to offer. 

We run our sessions on the last Friday and Sunday of the month. From 10am - 3pm. We offer a free lunch on the Sunday for all volunteers. There's no need to book, just pop along for however long you like. Tasks range from litter picking and species sampling, to cutting back trees, and buidling hedges or pathways. 
All our Volunteer Days are listed on our facebook page with more details about what we'll get up to. 
If you would like to book in a team building workday, or use your volunteer hours with us, we would be very happy to host you. 

Happy Volunteering.jpeg
About Us: Mission

Nature Watch 

Monthly Kids Workshops

Naturewatch Club
Our club for children takes place on the last Sunday of the month (with the exception of December). It runs from 10.30am-12.00pm, with sessions costing £1.50 per child, or are free to members. Membership for the whole year costs just £6. Better still, the first session is free so there’s nothing to lose in coming along to give it a try. 


Naturewatch sessions encourage children’s interest in nature through fun educational activities while helping
to raise awareness about the natural world. Activities include:

  • Nature Walks

  • Plant, animal and fungi identification

  • Seasonal arts and crafts

  • Outdoor games and challenges
     

We advise everyone to 'dress for mess', with coats, walking shoes or wellies in cold weather and sun hats and sunscreen in warmer weather, as some of the session is always spent outside.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Our Naturewatch volunteers are all DBS checked and Safe guarding trained.  

Sholing Valley Kids Day Activities.jpeg
About Us: Mission
Millers Pond at Sunset.jpeg

Course Fishing

Accessing your local Pond

There are no day fishing permits required to fish on Miller's Pond. You simply need to buy a rod fishing licence. The money from this is what has paid for the recent maintainence work. 
 

You might have heard about or seen what's been going on around the Miller's pond. There has been a massive issue with top mouth gudgeon in the pond recently. We wrote a blog explaining the issue.

From what we know about other sites, we expect they were introduced when someone added their own fish to the pond. Do not add any fish to the pond! This is a criminal act, as laid out in The Keeping and Introduction of Fish (England and River Esk Catchment Area) Regulations 2015; Regulation 4(a). As ever, ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law.  A lot of money has gone to restore the pond, and it would be such a shame if this was a waste of everyone's time and effort. 

We have now reintroduced some very young fish to the pond:

500 tench

500 crucian carp

500 rudd.

About Us: Mission

Guided Bat Walks

Join us for for some local bat spotting

Bats are fascinating creatures. And we love the ones we have on site. 


We host regular walks with an expert from Hampshire Bat Group. Details are always posted on our Facebook, and sell out very quickly. If you would like to be the first to know, join as a member, and we'll send out an email to you first. 

On the walk, you will learn all about these beautiful creatures and get a chance to glimpse them in their natural habitat. We walk the site with bat detectors so you can hear them echo-locate.

The kids love these events. We are happy to host private Bat Walks for any occasion.

About Us: History
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