4 things everyone should know about Brandy Hole Copse

4 things everyone should know about Brandy Hole Copse

This week, we are delighted to have Sarah Hughes, Community Wildlife Office for Chichester District Council, as our guest blogger.  She’s here to tell us the 4 things everyone should know about Brandy Hole Copse.  Over to Sarah…

Working in partnership with Chichester Contract Services and the local community, we (Environmental Management) recently put on a working party at Brandy Hole pond to highlight the importance of the area and to enthuse local people to become actively involved with the site.

One of our main tasks was to clear the duck weed that covered the pond, which was preventing light penetrating the pond, which would reduce the biodiversity. The session bridged the generation gap as old and young worked together clearing the weed with nets.  There was real warmth from the community, one local resident baked a cake for us and another resident offered us the use of her toilet facilities and refreshments. It was a fantastic working party and I am grateful for everyone’s time and support.

Brandy Hole Copse is a hidden gem which lies to the north-west of Chichester City’s built-up area.  It is an incredibly important site and here are four reasons you might wish to get involved:

  1. The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2001 to help protect and enhance its diverse flora and fauna, which includes a sea of bluebells every spring and numerous rare and fascinating species throughout the year.
  2. Within the Copse there are also two Iron Age boundaries known as Chichester Entrenchments which also contain some of the few remaining in-situ examples of WWII defensive structures.
  3. It is an area of managed woodland comprising mainly of Sweet Chestnut, which until recently, had been coppiced continuously since the 18th Century. It is 6.5 hectares in total and includes three small ponds with dipping/viewing platforms. The Copse is crossed by and can be accessed from the former Chichester-Midhurst railway line; “Centurion Way”.
  4. Without wildlife, we could not survive, the greater the diversity the better life is for us. With pressures of development in the local area, Brandy Hole Copse has become more important as a site for wildlife, as wildlife can use it as a stepping stone to and from the South Down National Park and Chichester Costal plain.


If anyone would like to be involved with Brandy Hole Copse, please contact Environmental Strategy on enviromentalstrategy@chichester.gov.uk