Latest News: We had our first Committee Meeting for a while on September 24th 2012. We are having a workday on Sunday
17th October at 10.00am. We are aiming to plant more natural bulbs by Ann's seat and some young saplings. All are
welcome. Please contact on email@example.com for more details-thanks
We had a committee meeting on Wednesday 6th July where we decided the next workday would be Sunday 4th September. We would again be clearing the pond and also planting some bulbs by the seat recently dedicated to our Chair, Ann Baldwin, who passed away earlier this year.
We decided to to attend the 2011 Baffins Pond Association Funday on Saturday 18th June. We will had information on the history of Great Salterns and will had a stall selling some plants. The weather was pretty poor for June and we had no cover as our marquee had blown down in the night and had been declared unsafe by the organisers.
We also had a Workday on Sunday 22nd May 11.00. We met at the pond by the old farm. There was general tidying near the pond.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt told me on Thursday 5th May that there will be new legislation concerning dangerous dogs going through parliament soon. This will give local councils more powers. We await more details.
Please turn up or e-mail us with your thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org
Baffins Pond Association Annual Funday took place Saturday 12th June 2010. GSPS had a stall there with information. It was a great opportunity to meet the people of the area, some of whom don't know Great Salterns exists, know little of it's history or think it is just the golf course. If anyone has any more information on the area please lets us know. We will try to expand on our own history to produce a small pamphlet. We made £63 profit mainly from beryl's sales of card, jewellery & plants.
The 2009 AGM took place at Baffins Community Centre, Westover Road, Baffins at 7.30 on Tuesday 27th October. welcome. This is Various concerns were raised about anti-social behaviour and the recent killings of dogs on Great Salterns.
PC Hall attended our committee meeting on Tuesday 13th October 2010. He thinks up to 4 different dogs could be involved in the recent attacks where 2 dogs were killed on Great Salterns Field and others injured in the area by Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dogs. With the help of local people 2 dog-owners with these type of dogs have been warned officially. However it is very difficult as the law is weak concerning dog attacks on other animals. All information about dangerous dogs should be passed to the Police either by phoning 101, to the local beat officers at Kingston Crescent on 02392 892108 , the PCSOs or if an emergency 999. The more information that they get, the better picture they can put together about the dogs involved. Please also speak to other users of the area to collate information. The Government has announced (9.3.10) that it is looking at the compulsory microchipping of dogs and to 'ASBOs' for dangerous dogs.
We now have new secretary thank you. Please see news at the bottom of the page to see possible proposals by Portsmouth College and Portsmouth City Council to cut down 30 year-old trees. We oppose these proposals.
The 2008 AGM took place on Sunday 8th July 2008 and the new Committee was voted in. Dennis Tree stood down as chairman after 14 years of hard work and Ann Baldwin has taken over. Dennis has accepted the position of Life-President.
Please contact email@example.com for further details. The website will be updated regularly with the latest news and photos.
GSPS attended the Baffins Community Fun Day at Baffins Pond on Saturday 20th June 2009 from 12 noon to 4pm for anyone who wished to meet us and ask questions. We encouraged people to sign our petition about the proposals to chop down trees on Great Salterns. Also available was information on the history and wildlife of Great Salterns.
The Great Salterns area was formerly called Gatcombe Haven. It reached from Ports Creek in the north down to Baffins in the south. It was 1200 acres of multi-fingered creeks, connecting to Langstone Harbour by a narrow entrance. In 1640 the Crown gave a lease to Dr. William Quatremaine to reclaim the Haven from the harbour by building a sea-wall. Keeping the sea out proved to be an expensive business, so Quatremaine teamed up with Richard Alchorne. On 25th July 1664 the pair were granted a new lease for 300 acres, for 99 years at 4d an acre, in order to establish salterns (lagoons for evaporating sea-water to produce salt). Alchorne was also involved in running the Great Salterns Farm. There may well have been small-scale salterns in the harbour from Roman times, but the Royal Navy was now a major customer, requiring enough salt to preserve the meat from about 5000 cattle per year. Salt was produced by evaporating sea-water during the summer, in a series of three ponds, then boiling the brine in vats. The industry lasted until about 1800, when it encountered a double-whammy of taxation and serious competition from mined salt. The street names of Quatremaine Road and Alchorne Place now provide a link to the past.
In 1830 the Crown sold what was now called the Great Salterns Estate, and it was used for agriculture. The Estate was bought by Portsmouth Corporation in about 1920, and was used to provide the golf course, allotments, playing fields and grazing. Great Salterns Lake, now an integral feature and obstacle of the golf course, is the southern end of the old Gatcombe Haven. The lake is fed by a stream much narrower than in the past, that passes under Burrfields Road and goes right up to Hilsea station. Things started to go downhill in the 1930s when the area of the present reserve was used to dump household waste, a process only completed thirty years laterin the 1960's. Anti-aircraft batteries were set up during WWII, and there are thought to be two or three unexploded bombs somewhere in the ground. An aeroplane once made a wheels up landing on allotments north of Burrfields Road and 300 yards east of the railway line. The aircraft was a Blackburn Skua and belonged to the Fleet Air Arm.
Since the 1980's the trading estates have grown and the whole airport site is now built on with industrial units and the Anchorage Park housing estate. Factories built north of Burrfields Road and west of Dundas Lane have changed and some such as Metal Box have been replaced with the Ocean Park shopping complex at the north west side of the junction of these two roads. Encroachment onto Great Salterns land was made by the construction of two large shops on the diagonally opposite of the junction, which now has become a roundabout as well.
One of the more recent buildings to be established at Great Salterns is the 'Farmhouse' public house and the attached hotel and restaurant. This building at least lends itself to the character of the area due to its similarity to the existing buildings.
A major need for a new secondary school ended with the construction of Admiral Lord Nelson School on Dundas Meadow playing fields on the north east side of the junction of Dundas Lane and Burrfields Road, removing another segment of meadowland from Dundas Lane to the golf course. Plans for another school near Admiral Lord Nelson would have taken some of the golf course which in turn would have used more of Great Salterns to make up for the lost holes. GSPS campaigned successfully against this development and also against the demolition of the two gamekeeper's lodges in Tangier Road when the children's home was built.
Great Salterns Mansion's life has now moved on again with the development of its interior by a commercial pub/restaurant chain and the moving out of the Golf Club to a new clubhouse on the south side of Burrfields Road east of the original Great Salterns barns. This meant of course that more land was taken for its construction.
The snowball situation that has taken place over the last 40 years would make it impossible to imagine what the Copnore Hundreds will look like in the next 40.
A major new project was to use one of the old Great Salterns Farm buildings as a headquarters for GSPS which could be used as a nature Study Centre for schools and also open for serving teas and coffees and other events. Negotiations were ongoing with Portsmouth City Council and if the project was to go ahead the society would have needed a lot of assistance from anyone interested.
We were hoping to be able to renovate the old farm building in Burrfields Road and lease it from Portsmouth City Council in order to create an information centre, environmental study centre for local schools, a tree nursery and nature trails for the preservation area. This should encourage local people to use the area in more ways. We intended to hold Open days, free public Walks and Talks, create a 'History and Wildlife of the Great Salterns Preservation Area booklet, clear some of (but not all) of the scrubland and plant suitable trees and shrubs to increase the biodiversity and install a substantial fence to protect an enhanced farm pond, create a picnic area for families and work with Hampshire Wildlife Trust to create and maintain a wildflower meadow on the HWT part of the area.
It looks like Portsmouth College will want to take over one or two of the football pitches at the southern end of Great Salterns as they are proposing to build on most of their present grassland to the south of Tangier Road. As their land is used by Brent Geese they legally have to provide a replacement site and Great Salterns looks like an obvious site to them and to Portsmouth City Council. However it may involve fencing off some land to the public and cutting down 30 year-old trees to provide a safe take-off and landing for the geese. They have also said the trees need to come down to make a clear view for a new path for students. This seems a very odd claim. We oppose any cutting down of trees and are awaiting the confirmation of these plans before we decide our action. They have said though that they would replace trees and make a hedge and manage this part of the site. A petition will be set up to give the public their chance to have their say. Please leave messages on this site if you wish.
**This project may be delayed due to funding issues but we feel the need to start the petition as an insurance against future plans**
For more historical details see :
Great Salterns 1600-1983 A brief history, by J. Ainsworth (Portsmouth Records Office)
The Spirit of Portsmouth - A History, by Webb, Quail, Haskell and Riley (In Print)
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