Celebrating 15 years!
On 9th March 2005 a collection of heaths across Surrey, Hampshire & Berkshire became the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. A fantastic success story thanks to a ground-breaking strategy, careful use by responsible visitors and a huge amount of work by landowners.
A success story for nature…
The heaths are home to many fascinating creatures, wildlife you just won’t find elsewhere, but the special protection is due to three rare birds that breed here every year. The nightjar comes all the way from sub-Saharan Africa, the plucky Dartford warbler braves our winters and the woodlark announces its return each year with lyrical song. It really is a success story, these birds have been doing well. We have as many pairs of woodlark, for example, as on much larger areas such as the New Forest, and, with everyone’s continued help, they’ll continue to thrive.
A success story for people…
It’s amazing to have all this nature on our doorstep, and not just for nature lovers. There’s all the greenspace, over 8,200 hectares of heathland, most of which is available for recreation. And as long as the birds are nesting here, it’ll continue to enjoy protection from development so that we can all enjoy it into the future.
It’s not all about heathlands, at the time of writing 68 new or improved greenspaces have opened across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire! All countryside places with dog-friendly, family-friendly circular walks, all set aside by our local councils for us to enjoy. They’re well worth seeking out, many are lovely places in their own right and the councils have really taken the trouble to understand what’s important to us. You may be surprised by the selection of safe and sociable walks on offer.
Here’s to another 15 fantastic years!