Lordsdale Greenway travels for 2.25 miles from Dale Road to Lord’s Hill Way. At its northern end it links into Lord’s Wood Greenway and then into Lord’s Wood Plantation beyond. The Greenway follows the stream valleys of Tanner’s Brook and Holly Brook which supports several important habitats and species.
Lordsdale Greenway has been locally designated and protected as a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC). Habitats present include alder swamp woods, unimproved grassland and semi improved grassland. These support species such as Wood Horsetail (equisetum sylvaticum) which is rare in Hampshire and the nationally important Bluebell (hyacinthoides non-scripta).
Lordsdale Greenway route description
1. Dale Road to Warren Avenue (0.4 miles)
The footpath runs alongside Holly Brook in an area of damp woodland and out into grassland which incorporates a play area and skateboard park located adjacent to Warren Avenue. There are allotments situated close to Dale Road. Alder and willow both of which are adapted to wet conditions dominate the woodland where the song thrush can be seen.
The woodland looks most attractive in spring when plants such as the bright yellow marsh marigold and lesser celandine are in flower.
2. Warren Avenue to Coxford Road (0.7 miles)
A footpath encircles Shirley Pond and follows Tanner’s Brook through a mixed area of woodland and grassland past the cycle track and Old Mill Way. Shirley Pond is the only major area of open water within the Greenway and kingfishers can be observed here. It is also an important bat feeding ground. Pipistrelle the smallest bat occurring in Britain is most common but three other species have also been reported.
Look out for the nettle beds along the side of the path which attract the peacock butterfly during the early summer months. The scarce Lesser Spotted Woodpecker may be seen in the woodland south of Coxford Road. The Grey Wagtail can also be seen along the banks of the brook.
3. Coxford Road to Olive Road (Bowers Meadow) (0.2 miles)
The area incorporates a variety of habitats that include a sunny sheltered area and grassland which are very popular with butterflies. Greater Spotted Woodpeckers feed on many of the larger trees.
Along the stream edges Purple Loosestrife and Water Figwort grow.
4. Olive Road to Aldermoor Road (0.6 miles)
The footpath runs from behind Coxford Community Centre on Olive Road through Coxford Copse as far as the Springford Road allotments. At this point the route follows the footpaths in Springford Road and then left into Aldermoor Road where it rejoins the Greenway path at Tanner’s Brook.
The area to the north of Olive Road comprises partly of marshy woodland and grassland. The grassland area incorporates playing fields and an adventure playground behind Coxford Community Centre. An old area of hazel coppice can be found adjacent to Vine Road that hosts Lesser Celandine and Wood Anemone which is associated with older woodlands. The stag beetle makes its home in the dead wood stumps found here. This area also supports frogs, broad leaved helleborines and wood horsetail which is rare in Hampshire. To the south of Aldermoor Farm there is an area of tall herb.
The area next to Aldermoor Farm is one of the few remaining natural wet meadows in the city. Cuckooflower or lady’s smock can be seen here during the spring. This is one of the plants on which Orange Tip butterflies, which can be seen from April to early June lay their eggs. There is a wet area dominated by sedges and rushes which contains many interesting plant species including Yellow Loosestrife and Water Mint.
5. Aldermoor Road to Lord’s Hill Way (0.1 miles)
The footpath carries on through this area of meadowland where Cuckooflower or lady’s smock can be seen in spring. Allotments can be seen to the west and towards Lord’s Hill Way the path runs through damp woodland. On the north side of Lord’s Hill Way the path continues through Lord’s Wood Greenway.