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Nea Meadows

A wildlife-rich former parkland site close to the village of Highcliffe and surrounded by residential development.

Nea Meadows comprises a variety of natural habitats, including mixed meadow, wetland and woodland. The site, which is owned and managed by Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council, also includes recreation grounds.


Nea Meadows was once the formal parkland of a large 18th-century estate and manor house, which was demolished in 1940. Landscaping, wooded areas, some standard trees, ornamental species and remnants of the original fishpond survive from this period.


At 5.5ha the site is relatively small in terms of nature conservation. However, it forms an important steppingstone for migratory species, along the Highcliffe to Christchurch Harbour wildlife corridor.

The site is also high in wildflower diversity, with over 250 recorded species.

Main lake

The main lake at Nea constructed in 1988 with the primary purpose of being a flood defence measure. Although its overall species diversity is low, the lake contains a variety of coarse fish.

Fishing on the lake is restricted to members of Christchurch Angling Club. A section of the lake been designated as a sensitive wildlife area where angling is not permitted.

Getting there

Nearest town

Christchurch or Highcliffe

Grid reference


Nearest train station

Hinton Admiral

Nearest bus stop

Morebus X1 and X2 stop at Carisbrooke Way. The 121 also runs close to site.


There are spaces for 25 cars at the car park on Smugglers Lane South.


The nearest public toilets are at Highcliffe Castle.


There are gravel paths around some of the site. The meadow areas are partially sloping, and the ground can be slippery when wet or icy. You will be able to rest on the many seats around the site.

Site designation

Local Nature Reserve.


Mixed meadow, wetland and woodland.

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