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Sandy Point Nature Reserve protects one of the last pieces of undeveloped land on the south-eastern corner of Hayling Island. It is all that remains of the once extensive Eastoke Common and has hardly changed over 100 years. For many years it was part of the grounds of the Treloar Hospital which was used to treat TB patients and latterly used for children with severe mental health issues. After the Hospital was demolished the site was taken over by Hampshire County Council in 1988.
The Nature Reserve is a sensitive area of rare maritime heathland, sand dunes and grassland grazed in summer by cattle. Some plants found here occur nowhere else in Hampshire and much of the ground is covered in fragile lichens. The Reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Scrub and Grassland - many birds make their nests in gorse and thorn scrub. Whitethroats fly here from Africa, whilst Linnet are a year-round resident. Dartford Warblers breeds on site. This long-tailed warbler prefers undisturbed heathland sites and cannot tolerate severe winters. Sandy Point is the one of the few sites in Hampshire where it successfully breeds. The site is also important for migrant birds with a rough hedgerow acting as a migration corridor.
The flower-rich grassland includes plants such as Birds-foot Trefoil, Sheep Sorrel and Creeping Forget-me-not which are essential for certain butterflies and moths.
The edge of the reserve nearest the beach is rich vegetated sand dunes. The dunes are held together by the branching roots of Marram grass. Sea Holly, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Rocket and Sea Kale and Lesser Sea Spurrey all thrive here.
To help protect the reserve, access is only through guided walks and pre-arranged visits. Details of guided walks are available on our what's on calendar or call the Hampshire Rangers on 02380 402534.