Worthys Conservation Volunteers

"Our Local Natural Environment .. for Life"

Kings Worthy Headbourne Worthy Abbots Worthy Martyr Worthy


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Worthy Down Halt

Platform and hut, Worthy Down Halt, April 2007 (584KB) 

Protecting wild liquorice, Woryhy Down Halt, August 2007 (584KB) 

Wildflower habitat, Worthy Down Halt, July 2006 (552KB) 

About the project: Map of railways lines in Kings Worthy

The history of the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway (DNSR) line between Winchester and Newbury dates to the 1885; Kings Worthy station was established in 1914 and Worthy Down Halt in 1924.  The whole of the DNSR line was dismantled in 1964 as part of the Beeching Axe.  Since then the landscape of the line from north of Kings Worthy to South Wonston has in the most part remained intact, although the southern stretch is now dominated by the A34 trunk road.

Nothing remains of Kings Worthy Station, although Worthy Down Halt is still very much standing as a relic of a bygone age, however the platform is practically 'lost', neglected and obscured by trees and shrubs.

Around the old station has developed a rather special natural environment, in particular the area to the west of the platform, which has some rather exceptional features largely because of the shelter afforded by the platform and the barrier of birch trees, and the very dry nature of the rail bed.  This is enhanced by the openness of the site to the west and also by the presence of the tarmac, which still lies beneath a thin layer of soil in an area near the fence.  Here an unusual flora has developed, more suited to dry sandy and slightly acidic soils than to the Hampshire chalk.  On top is an impressive ground cover of lichen and other flower plants as well as a number of fungi.  White helloborine (Cephalanthera damasonium) are also becoming established below the west-edge of the platform.  See Worthy Down Halt Wildflower Survey - Summer 2006.   

To the east of the platform is the public footpath; and to the south along the path, wild liquorice (Astragalus glycyphyllos) has established a localised stronghold, said to be the only occurrence of this species in Hampshire.

It is our intention to restore the 'lost platform of Worthy Down Halt', not only to preserve it but also to enhance it by creating a raised wildflower bed - it is hoped this will encourage insects and birds, and improved diversity of wildlife.  Also, we will be improving and maintaining the special natural environment surrounding the platform, and also creating viewpoints and install seating.  See Worthy Down Halt Survey & Improvement Proposal.

Worthy Down Halt is located at grid reference SU 479 352

See also our work at Dismantled Didcot Newbury & Southampton Railway Line

Tasks undertaken:

Glade Clearance Task Report - March 2011

Platform Scrub Clearance Task Report - November 2009

Platform Clearance & Wildflower Seed Scattering - March 2009

Platform Clearance & Wildflower Seed Scattering - February 2009

Platform Clearance & Wildflower Seed Scattering - April 2008

Wild Liquorice Improvement - August 2007

Wild Liquorice Improvement Plan - August 2007

Bench Installation & Wildflower Seed Scattering - June 2007

Platform and Viewpoint Clearance - April 2007

Scrub Clearance - March 2007

Viewpoint Clearance - November 2006

Habitat Enhancement - October 2006

Habitat Enhancement Proposal - October 2006

Scrub Clearance - June 2006

Copyright Worthys Conservation Volunteers