It all started with a packed village hall meeting in January 2008 following Southern Water’s announcement that they were selling 33.3 acres of woodland comprising two woods close to each other – Sparrowgrove Woods and Oakwood Copse.

A steering committee was set up with the aim to acquire the woods on behalf of the local community and to ensure continuing community access for walking, recreational and educational purposes for current and future generations. This steering group subsequently created SOCCT to own and manage the woods.

The woods parallel the main road through Otterbourne and Compton and sit between the parishes of Compton & Shawford and Otterbourne. The woods are good examples of ancient and modern woodlands which had been looked after and coppiced by Southern Water in accordance with Forestry Commission guidelines. The woods are inhabited by many species of wild life. Pictures of the woods can be found here.

The acquisition was achieved by a combination of public donations, a contribution from the two parish councils and a loan from a local resident which needs to be repaid. The purchase was completed on 25th March 2009. There was a lot of support from many people including Southern Water who gave the local group much assistance throughout the process.

Newsletters, membership and donation form are available on the downloads page.