Caesar’s Camp, Farnham
Caesar’s Camp near Farnham is one of my favourite viewpoints. Despite the name, it has nothing to do with Roman emperors, but Iron Age settlers chose this place to construct an impressive hill fort and I can see why. It has a commanding position.
The land is owned and managed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), as part of the UK Defence Training Estate and is an active military training area. There are no official public rights of way, however the MOD allow public access when it is safe to do so and simply ask that we follow the displayed Byelaws and all signs, notices and directions from any military unit. Also that we use the land respectfully and avoid any training that’s taking place. You can read more about how to keep yourself safe on military training areas in a downloadable leaflet.
Last weekend we ran a very enjoyable family nature ramble here, starting from Sandy Hill Road, Upper Hale, Farnham. The weather wasn’t great, but we still managed to spot an army of tiny frogs emerging from a pond, Speckled Wood butterflies sparring, a family of ducklings, Willow Warblers singing and a host of flowering plants including Broom, Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Heath Speedwell and the first Bell Heathers just coming into flower. The children were keen to see an Adder, but sadly conditions weren’t right and these shy creatures didn’t show themselves.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the land is also an important heathland nature reserve and we must keep to main paths from March till September to help protect the very special birds that nest here. Woodlarks, Dartford Warblers and Nightjars are among the birds that nest on, or near, the ground from March to September. That’s why it’s especially important to keep dogs under control and with you on the main paths, as birds that nest on the ground are easily scared off their nests. It’s not necessarily that dogs chase or even harm the birds, but if they’re repeatedly scared off, they’ll eventually abandon their nests. So please do help us spread the word, keeping to the main paths from March to September will protect the birds and other wildlife at this important part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
Good to know…
Find various pedestrian entrances to Caesar’s Camp on Sandy Hill Road, Odiham Road and Bourley Road, but no dedicated car park. What3Words: washed.survivor.dupe.
Dogs are not required to be on leads, but please keep them close and with you on the paths. If you’re not sure of your recall, please keep them on a lead.
If you’re a regular dog walker and would like to try somewhere new, to help protect this fragile place, our top recommendations are Farnham Park on Folly Hill (1.5 miles), Rowhill Nature Reserve on Cranmore Lane (1.5 miles) and Wellesley Woodlands on Claycart Road (3 miles). Our ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’ pages have loads more options too.
If you’re interested in practical volunteering, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust run regular work parties and would love you to join in.
Reports of anti-social behaviour can be directed to the MOD 24 hour Operations Room on 01420 483405.
The cattle that graze here are owned and managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and any concerns can be reported to them on 01256 381190.
Caesar’s Camp gallery…
[Click on the images for the full size versions, and to see the captions for more information]
Thank you everyone 🙏
Thames Basin Heaths Partnership