Naturetrek has moved to larger premises - in Chawton!
Our new offices at Mingledown Barn
On Monday 15th December, after 15 years at the delightful Cheriton Mill, Naturetrek moved to larger, but equally delightful, premises in Chawton, Hampshire, just 15 minutes away.
Chawton lies within the South Downs National Park, just outside the market town of Alton, and is famous as being the home of Jane Austen during the last eight years of her short life. Her 'Chawton Cottage' is open to the public and stands conveniently opposite the village pub, both just a short walk across the fields from our new offices. These occupy a characterful conversion of an old barn and farm building, Mingledown Barn, which occupies a pleasant 12-acre grassland site. In Jane Austen's day this land was known as Mingledown Hill (though it is more a raised plateau that sits just above the village) and it was then owned by her brother, the village squire Edward Austen Knight, who lived in the magnificent Elizabethan manor, Chawton House, today a museum of women's literature that is open to the public.
We plan to turn our newly acquired pastureland into a wild flower and butterfly meadow with the help of our friends at Butterfly Conservation and Plantlife - though we will encourage all other wildlife as well, so that, on our monthly office Open Days, we will still be able to offer rewarding wildlife walks. Other exciting wildlife walks that our visitors will be able to enjoy lie just a few miles away around the village of Selborne, made famous through the writings of its curate in the late 18th century, the Reverend Gilbert White, the founding father of natural history studies in Britain with his Natural History of Selborne (published in 1789). He created the famous 'zig-zag' walk up the Hanger, a striking escarpment supporting a woodland of towering Beech trees that can be seen from Mingledown Barn. Nearby, too, is Noar Hill Nature Reserve, a complex of ancient chalk pits supporting a rich variety of orchids and other downland flowers, plus a wealth of butterflies, from its Duke of Burgundies in May to its Brown Hairstreaks in late summer.
We hope you will visit us as soon as you are able to, to plan your future holidays with us and enjoy the Hampshire wildlife. Our first Open Days at our new Mingledown Barn headquarters will be on Friday 9th January, Friday 6th February and Friday 6th March.
Our new address will be:
Naturetrek Ltd., Mingledown Barn, Wolf's Lane, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire GU34 3HJ
Our phone number - 01962 733051 - remains unchanged