Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve
  The Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve is made up of lagoons, reeds beds, salt marsh and mud flats and supports a number of vulnerable plants and rare species and provides rich feeding grounds for a wide variety of birds, particularly during the spring and autumn migrations. The lagoons support nationally important breeding populations of little terns. There are also some excellent views across the solent to the Isle of Wight.

Hampshire County Council had the foresight to purchased this area of coastline between 1973 and 2006 to protect its unique historical and wildlife heritage. The reserve covers an area of 500 acres, between the mouth of the Lymington river and the village of Keyhaven. The adjacent mudflats and salt marshes outside the seawall are leased by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and form their Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes Reserve.

The coastline also has great
historic significance. During the 18th century, Lymington was the biggest producer of sea salt in the country. The area between Lymington and Keyhaven was completely industrialised in the production of salt, with the greatest concentration of activity in the Oxey and Pennington marsh areas. Try to picture the countryside as it was then - with evaporating ponds for as far as the eye could see and billowing smoke from the boiling houses. There would have been boats delivering coal and taking away the salt, the air would have been thick with white salt dust and there would have been countless small windmills pumping the brine into the boiling houses.

Nature Reserve contact details
Hamp. County Council, Countryside Service Normandy Farm,
Normandy Lane,
Lymington SO41 8AE
Tel 01590 674656
New Forest National Park




Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve Map