All trees on the Tree Trail now have w3w references and location notes added. Hoping to add photos and content to trees 11 – 22 very soon.

Dead oak trees in the Queen’s Jubilee avenue now replaced by SCC

We were delighted to see that the trees which died during the very spell of dry weather in 2023 have now been replaced with new healthy specimens. Thank you to SCC for finding funds to strengthen this row which are looking lovely and green now.

Striking Conversation Bench supplied by Saints Foundation

What’s it all about?

Paul Hedges, Health Projects Manager at Saints Foundation, pictured above, who spearheaded the scheme explained that 3 benches have been provided in a number of Southampton parks in order to spark conversations. The iconic red and white Saints colours are important to many people in the community and it is hoped they will get people talking in order to combat isolation and loneliness. This one is located by the Doug Perry Sports Pavilion.

The Southampton F.C. charity partnered with community groups So:Linked and Friends of St James’ Park, and the University of Southampton on the idea. The Lord Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Valerie Laurent unveiled the scheme at St James Park, another of the areas fortunate enough to be selected, and the day coincided with Time to Talk Day. A webpage, hosted by So:Linked, and a QR code will allow people to comment.

Mr Hedges said “We’d also like to thank Elmtree Signs, a valued corporate patron of Saints Foundation, for the installation of the benches, and Spectrum Signs for their support with design and signage.”

Saints Foundation is aiming to support well-being in Southampton and through their their By Your Side programme offers group support sessions for men who are struggling with their mental health. Go to the Southampton FC website for further details.

White van raced round the park and then completely burnt out. Now finally towed away!!

The Council was aware and added a Notice to the rear door advising of potentially dangerous material within the vehicle.

Storm Ciara from SCC

Parks and Open Spaces

We are advising residents to take care, avoid woodland areas and parks due to expected high winds of up 80mph as well as coastal areas and paths along the rivers and to not enter flood water as it may conceal hidden dangers. You can report fallen trees on our website.  

We are also advising residents to tie down, move or bring inside any garden furniture, parasols, children’s toys and especially trampolines, tents, tarpaulins or other loose, lightweight items outside as well as move all bins and other outdoor containers to a safe, sheltered place where possible. Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging and do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress. 

Late Queen’s Jubilee Tree Planting

In 2022 in line with the wishes expressed by her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II an avenue of 70 fastigiate (def. having upright clustered branches) was planted by Southampton City Council.

Latest News following this hot dry weather:

The new line of fastigiate oak trees planted along the riverside have suffered badly in the recent drought.  The dry spell came really early in the year.  If the trees had been a couple of years older they would probably have been OK, with a deeper root system but they are vulnerable as young trees.  Most have water “collars” attached now which are being regularly replenished but sadly it will be too late for some of them.  We are assured that ones that do not survive will be replaced, hopefully in the autumn.

Apparently this species of oak tree has a greater resistance to pests and disease. Tree planting took place in spring 2022 with generous size holes being excavated for each tree Sadly 2 trees were vandalised and these and several dead trees were replaced in the spring.

Closure of Jetty by Miniature Railway

The Jetty on the riverbank at Cobden Meadows has been cordoned off, awaiting repair for some time.

Part of the structure that attaches to the river wall (technically called a revetment) has come away.  It is not a simple repair because of the movement of the tides, both up & down and side to side.  This may mean a rebuild of part of the revetment to make it safe.  The Council are currently assessing the job.

We will let you know when we have any more information.

Hedge Planting along Manor Farm Road: July 2023 update

THE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS had a maintenance work day on Thursday 27th July and cleared the weeds and undergrowth from the base of the Manor Farm Road hedge, in order to assist with the establishment of the additional whips planted in spring. Stakes and tree guards were replaced as necessary. We are very grateful for their help with this major project to make the park more nature friendly. A good varied hedge provides habitats for all kinds of birds and bugs. The majority of the young plants survived the hot dry spell.

We organised a further planting in March this year (2023) to extend and thicken earlier sections and fill in any gaps. Unfortunately the hedge infill planting we undertook in previous years did not all take because it was followed by very dry weather. We have to express our grateful thanks to THE WOODLAND TRUST who kindly supplied the whips and THE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS for organising the planting and providing stakes and protective collars. This year a greater mixture of indigenous species were planted.

Over the last few years bit by bit we have been renewing the hawthorn/blackthorn hedge along Manor Farm Road from the Sports Pavilion Car Park as far as the mini-roundabout. On Wednesday 4th March we planted some 300 more whips, completing the final lengths which had been prepared by the Parks Dept of invasive weeds etc and filling in gaps where last year’s whips had not taken. We have a few whips left to thicken up some areas, to provide a really strong barrier. Hawthorn and blackthorn produce lovely flowers from late winter through to late spring. The Woodland Trust says the value to wildlife is immeasurable supporting more than 300 insects including many moth caterpillars. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects. The haws are rich in antioxidants and are eaten by migrating birds as well as small mammals AND the dense thorny foliage makes a fantastic nesting shelter for many species of bird. Our grateful thanks to personnel from the Parks Dept for their help on the day and to Southampton City Council for providing the plants and chestnut fencing.

   A section planted 3 or 4 yrs ago & developing nicely.

Advice on suitable food for the ducks

From “Respect the River” a special edition of their Newsletter for 2022/23 & regarding River Itchen Scrutiny Inquiry

Around our River

the newsletter of Respect the River campaign                        

Our busy and vibrant City River is now the focus of a new initiative by Southampton City Council. This autumn, the Council are undertaking a “Scrutiny Inquiry” into protecting, preserving and promoting the River Itchen in our City.

Running from early October to April, monthly meetings will be held by a panel of Councillors who will look at identifying the different users and uses of the River and the challenges and opportunities this presents.  People can give the panel their views. More information overleaf…

Time to take part! 

         All the Best from your Respect the River team, Sara and Rose 

River Itchen Scrutiny Inquiry

Monthly meetings will be conducted by the ‘Scrutiny Panel’ of five City Councillors.  First meeting: Thursday 6th October 5.30pm. Meetings will be live streamed. See  for links and information. Final report scheduled for April 2023.

You can submit contributions and evidence. Mark emails ‘River Itchen Inquiry’ to [email protected]   

How you can help look after our river:

Many groups and individuals volunteer around our river to make the Itchen a bright and vibrant place.  If you’d like to help look after your patch, the City Council can offer advice and support. Contact [email protected].  

Contact Respect the River team: Sara [email protected] or Rose [email protected]