Southwood Country Park

An 57-hectare area of natural green open space in Farnborough.

The first phase of the country park (western side) opened in September 2019.

Covering more than 30 hectares, it offers a network of formal and informal paths, with a 2.4 kilometre circular walking route, starting from the 31-space Kennels Lane car park. There is dog-proof fencing along the boundaries of Ively Road.

The second phase, which includes the former golf club car park at Ively Road, opened in December 2019 and offers access to a further 27 hectares of natural land opened up on the eastern side of the country park.

Southwood Country ParkSouthwood Country ParkSouthwood Country ParkSouthwood Country Park


Future plans for the country park

Our future plans for 2020/21 and beyond could include:

  • Employing rangers to manage the area
  • Creating a visitor centre, café, public toilets and rangers' office, either using the existing buildings or as part of a new building
  • A pedestrian crossing on Ively Road
  • Creating a playground constructed from natural materials
  • A fenced dog exercise area
  • Cycle paths
  • Creation of focal points
  • Educational aids, such as a pond dipping platform and bird hides that schools, clubs and local people can use to study wildlife
  • Naturalising Cove Brook and the Marrow and Ively streams and re-creating floodplain meadow, copses and hedgerows

We'll be asking residents for their views on our plans for this phase in early 2020.

Country park wildlife and ecology

Before the first phase opened, we asked the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to carry out wildlife surveys across the site.

The trust discovered large populations of slow worms and common lizards, smooth and palmate newts.

Five species of bats forage along the woodland edge and the waterways and wetland birds have started visiting the site.

The site is providing a very good habitat for invertebrates, with nine nationally-scarce, and two nationally-rare species, and the Small Heath butterfly, which is threatened in Britain.

We are also working with the Environment Agency on a study that will look at naturalising the Cove and Marrow Brooks which will improve water quality and provide greater flood protection, as well as improving the area for both wildlife and people.

Background to Southwood Country Park

The country park is what is known as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) and is the former Southwood Golf Course.

As Rushmoor sits within five kilometres of the Thames Basin Heaths special protection area, which protects ground-nesting birds,  housing developers must, by law, provide, or contribute towards, alternative green space for their residents to use before the council can grant them planning permission.

Being a SANG means the land is permanently protected as green public open space, so it could never be built on. It also means that we would use developers' contributions to pay for its creation and upkeep.

Map of west side

Map of west side of Southwood Country Park Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Location of west car park

Southern end of Kennels Lane
Off Ively Road

Map of east side

Map of eastside of Southwood country park Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Location of east car park

Ively Road

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Parks and play areas
Tel: 01252 398399
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