Owned by the National Trust, Stockbridge Common is a pleasant walk easily accessible from Stockbridge. It is very popular with dog walkers which can cause a lot of disturbance, however it is still a good place to observe riverside birds.
Most of the interest is in the river and reedbeds along the west side of the common where Water Rail and Little Egret can often be seen well in winter, as well as regular Kingfisher. In summer all of the expected warblers can be found in the reeds and riverside trees – including Reed, Sedge, Cetti’s and Garden – while the bushes in the centre of the common are used by Whitethroats. Cuckoo can often be heard in spring from the scrub and woodland and sometimes seen in the large dead trees behind the river with careful scanning. Barn Owl regularly hunts in the area in winter. The rough grassland in the centre of the common will usually produce Green Woodpecker feeding on the ground and one or two pairs of Stonechat.
There is a National Trust car park on site (Sat Nav SO20 6JH, grid reference SU357346). Alternatively one can park on the High Street and then walk south along the public footpath between Lillies of Stockbridge tearoom and the Garden Inn. The common is open access land. In winter the ground can be wet and boggy, so wellington boots are useful.
National Trust – Stockbridge Marsh
National Trust – Stockbridge Marsh Wildlife Walk