Sholing Valleys Study Centre looks after the Miller’s Pond Nature Reserve, and educates the public on the importance and benefits of nature and green spaces. It covers 20 acres of fenland, pond, acid grassland and mixed young woodland.
It 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 a membership organisation. Joining will give you first access to book on our public events, and free Nature Watch sessions for Children (see below).
Mother Nature constantly needs a helping hand to keep the site ecologically sound. We run Conservation sessions twice a month, on the last Friday and Sunday of the month from 10am-3pm (excluding Aug). We need your help planting trees and hedgerows, survey work (training provided), litter-picking, path laying and all sorts of tasks. We have tasks for all abilities. Lunch is provided on the Sunday session.
We love talking to you and other members of the public about nature! A major part of our work is our public outreach events. Along with one off events like our bat walks and BioBlitz’s (see facebook for details), we run a free family Apple Day event every October, and our flagship event the Spring Fayre and our Christmas Fayre (to raise funds for the charity).
We run activities for schools (all phases) and youth groups. Themed from species specific (like our bat events) to the importance of a balanced biodiversity in an increasingly hostile climate created by man.
Our club for children takes place on the last Sunday of the month (with the exception of August and December).
It runs from 10.30am-12.00pm, with sessions costing £1.50 per child, or 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:
Plant, animal and fungi identification
Seasonal arts and crafts
Outdoor games and challenges
Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent or carer and those age 5 or over can stay for the session in the care of our Naturewatch Volunteers. 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.
All details can be found on our Facebook group or website.