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‘Lime Pickle’ is a geocache based in the area around Basing Lime Pits and Basing Meadow in Hampshire.
Basing Lime Pits were owned by Lord Bolton and were once part of the extensive Bolton Estate. Lime extraction took place from the pits between the 1900s and the 1960s. The Lime Pits were acquired by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 1983. They are currently used as public open space with childrens’ playground, climbing frame, picnic and barbeque sites, plus a ‘trim trail.’ The Lime Pits would be an ideal place to relax and have a picnic after finding the cache, especially if you have children.
We suggest that you park at the Lime Pits car park at N 51 15.950’ W 01 03 650’. This is the larger of the two car parks and provides a safer route to the cache. The second car park is at N 51 15.878’ W 01 03.784’.
The footpath to the cache starts on the other side of the road at N 51 15.929’ W 01 03.737’ This is approximately half way between the two car park entrances.
The footpath to the cache is part of the Basingstoke Canal Heritage Footpath. This runs between Basingstoke town centre and Old Basing, following the old route of the canal. The canal was completed in 1794 to connect Basingstoke and London via the River Wey and River Thames. The canal was used to transport agricultural goods from Basingstoke and the surrounding area to London, and likewise coal and fertilisers were traded in the opposite direction. The last cargoes were transported from Basingstoke in 1900, and the portion of the Basingstoke Canal west of the Greywell Tunnel (near Odiham) was closed in 1932.
The properties to your left as you go through the kissing gate are called Swing Bridge Cottages. These were built in the 1840s and the canal used to pass right in front of them. The original swing bridge contraption was replaced by a fixed wooden bridge in 1910.
Follow the footpath to Basing Meadow and reed beds. You will pass over a concrete bridge over a stream. This is a chalk stream fed by springs to the south. The water is very clear and upstream is used to grow watercress. The stream feeds into the River Loddon near Old Basing.
The reed beds and chalk stream are very important ecologically and provide a habitat for many species of wildlife. You may hear or see reed warblers, reed buntings, willow warblers and, in spring and late summer, migrant red starts. The area of Basing Fen, including the water meadow, is a peat bog around which the canal used to run in a large loop.
Gb gur yrsg nf lbh ragre naq oruvaq ybj oenapu
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum