Hawks Ridge is on the Ridings Mead estate in East Harnham, just south of Salisbury.
As for most of the rest of the Ridings Mead development, the name of the road is formed by attaching the name of a bird (in this case a whole category of birds) to a geographical feature. Unlike many other roads in the area, such as Linnetsdene and Ravenscroft, the two words ‘Hawk’ and ‘Ridge’ are not joined together.
Etymology of Hawk
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word ‘hawk’ is derived from the Old English words ‘hafoc‘ and ‘heafuc‘, which in turn ultimately derive from a word meaning ‘to sieze’.
Interestingly, there seems to be no connection with the word ‘hawk’ meaning to sell or peddle. ‘Hawk’ in that sense comes from the German ‘hoken‘ meaning to ‘to peddle, carry on the back, squat’
What is a hawk?
There are loosely three definitions of what a hawk is.
- The strictest includes just five genera covering sparrowhawks, goshawks and others. They are mainly woodland birds.
- The less strict definitions adds non-woodland birds – eagles, vultures, buzzards, kites and harriers.
- The loosest definition is any bird of prey.
Hawks have very good eyesight. The number of photoreceptors per square mm is five times that found in humans, and they have a second set of eye muscles which aren’t found in any other animal .
The Hawk Conservancy
One of favourite days out near to Salisbury is the Hawk Conservancy, which is close to Andover. To use a phrase of Bill Bryson’s, you should drop what you’re doing and go there immediately.
Their website is here:
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