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You are here:home > Leisure > Parks and Green Spaces > List of all Parks > Miller's Pond

Miller's Pond

Image of Miller's PondMiller's Pond can be found in a pleasant, secluded site with semi-natural woodland and wildlife areas which is an important green open space within Sholing. Miller's Pond is managed for both angling and wildlife. The area is also the home to the Sholing Valleys Study Centre who take a major part in its management and upkeep.

Millers Pond is 1.9 kilometres from the shores of Southampton Water at Weston Point with which it is connected by continuous valley habitat. Station Road marks the northern edge of the Miller's Pond site and the southern edge is formed by the railway and Portsmouth Road. The valley divides at Miller's Pond and the two branches continue to the north and north-east, to Bursledon Road at Sholing Common and Weston Common respectively and then beyond towards the corridor of the M27. Miller's Pond thus sits at a pivotal point along the valley which itself comprises a corridor of wooded and semi-natural green space known as Shoreburs Greenway – also the name of the footpath along the valley.

A new local Nature Reserve at Miller's Pond, Sholing

The city council has recently declared a new Local Nature Reserve (LNR) at Miller's Pond in the Shoreburs Greenway. The project to achieve this status has been a joint endeavour between the council and the Sholing Valleys Study Centre Association (SVSCA).

SVSCA is one of the most active of the many open space volunteer groups in Southampton. As volunteer input is a requirement of LNR declaration (a council function) this made Miller's Pond an ideal site to gain this status.

Work has included two rounds of public consultation and the production of a management plan funded by a grant, obtained by the SVSCA, from LUSH Retail Limited. The LNR was formally launched at the SVSCA’s spring fair on 19 May 2012.

The LNR designation, only the second in the city, recognises the wildlife value of the site and its importance to the local community. A work programme, run by the SVSCA, aims to involve local people in habitat management and interpretation work. This will improve the biodiversity value and make the site more interesting and accessible.

The strong working relationship between the SVSCA and the council has been key to the achievement of LNR status and a formal relationship has been built into the plan. The technical expertise available within the council complements the local knowledge and enthusiasm of the SVSCA resulting in a very effective partnership.

LNR status provides the site, which is already very important to the local community, with additional recognition. Whilst it is termed a nature reserve this will not change the way that people are able to use the site.

The focus of LNR's is education and is designed to enable people to encounter and enjoy wildlife a stone’s throw from their doorsteps. It is hoped that the enhanced status will assist in attracting additional resources to help deliver the management plan.

Miller's Pond has had a varied history

1. Flooded valley and marsh

An early map of 1610 shows the area as a flooded valley and marsh.

2. Mill at Weston

By 1770 there was a mill at Weston.

3. Sholing Station

In 1866 Sholing Station was opened, on the Sholing – Netley Hospital (and later Portsmouth) railway. The construction of the railway line had caused the road to be slightly diverted and the pond reduced on its southern margin. Nonetheless, maps of 1896-7 show the pond as much larger than the present feature, in an ‘L’ shape extending into both of the valleys.

4. Brick making

Almost all the site appeared open in 1896, apart from the southern margin against the Portsmouth road, which had some tree cover. The area that is now wooded, east of the present pond, was entirely open then and shown as ‘brick field’ and there are kilns shown within the area of present woodland.

Other symbols on the 1896 map indicate that there were also gravel pits and it is likely that gravel had been taken from the surface deposits, so accentuating the valley shape and leaving the steep-sided pits that are evident today in the northeast of the site and forming the eastern rim of the main wooded area. The underlying clays in the area of the present woodland and northern field and the site of the study centre, were where the brickworks was in operation, utilising the local clay for brick making. The shapes of some of the clay diggings can still be discerned within the wooded area today.

5. Brick Yard Hill Road

A map of 1909-10 shows a similar land use and character but with more marsh or swamp encroaching into the northern end of the larger pond limb. The road (now Station Road) was then called Brick Yard Hill Road.

6. Open brickworks

A map of 1933-46 indicates a continuing trend for the upper reaches of the two arms of the pond to be encroached by swamp but the streams feeding into the pond were still evident as surface features. By now the area north or east of the pond arms was either open brickworks (the present woodland) or shown as rough ground; the former fields here must by this time have been abandoned and reverted to heathy scrub.

7. The pond is restored

The Sholing Brickworks Company ceased to operate in the 1930s and during the 1960s much of the pond and the valley upstream of the eastern pond arm were in-filled and the streams flowing into the two pond arms were culverted. The pond, in its present form was restored in 1978 and the Study Centre opened in 1988.

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
Image Miller's Pond LNR Boundary 6381 KB 26secs @ 2Mbps
Image Miller's Pond LNR Declaration 333 KB 1secs @ 2Mbps
Image Miller's Pond LNR Notice 1 327 KB 1secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information

  • 0800 519 1919
  • Parks and Street Cleansing (RL) Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY