May 24 2022

Chobham Common

Far reaching view across an open landscape, with gorse and scrub in the foreground
Click Image to Enlarge

Our wardens are often at Chobham Common chatting with locals and are frequently struck by the wonderful connection local people have with their Common. Many have been visiting for years and years, take a real interest in its welfare and understand how to protect the rare wildlife and cultural importance of this historic landscape. That’s just brilliant! I also have a very personal interest in the Common, it’s where I started my career in conservation ten years ago.

As locals know, Chobham Common’s vast expanse of heathland makes it an extremely important nature reserve. It’s a wonderful recreational space, but also a fine example of lowland heath habitat that’s home to some of the UK’s rarest species. There’re too many to list in a short article, so I’ll just mention three of the most important species. Woodlarks, Dartford Warblers and Nightjars are rare 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 your dog with you on the main paths from March to September will protect the birds and ensure the Common is protected for the future. It has the very highest level of protection, being part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and a National Nature Reserve, but all the legal protection in the world won’t help if we don’t take care of it ourselves.

Good to know…

If you’re a regular dog walker and would like to try somewhere new, to help protect this fragile place, our top recommendations are Chobham Water Meadows in Chobham village centre (2 miles), Heather Farm on the Chobham Road (4 miles) and Chobham Place Woods on Valley End Road (0.5 miles). Our ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’ pages have loads more options too.

If you’re interested in practical volunteering, the Surrey Wildlife Trust run regular work parties and would love you to join them.

Find the main car park for Chobham Common on the B383 Chobham Road, close to the roundabout with the B386, GU24. More information at: Surrey Wildlife Trust.

The Common is owned and managed by Surrey County Council. Queries can be directed to Surrey County Council Contact Centre on 0300 200 1003 or emailed to contact.centre@surreycc.gov.uk (for conservation & grazing call Surrey Wildlife Trust 01483 910087 or email countryside@surreywt.org.uk).

Chobham Common gallery…

 

[Click on the images for the full size versions, and to see the captions]

Thank you everyone 🙏

Sarah
Thames Basin Heaths Partnership

Pictorial messages for "Keep to main paths", "Keep dogs out of vegetation" and "Prevent fires"

#ThamesBasinHeaths

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