Tweseldown Racecourse near Church Crookham in Hampshire…expect to see horses!
You’ll see plenty of heathland and wildlife too. It may feel like mid-winter, but Woodlarks, one of our very special heathland birds, have already been heard singing here this week! That means males are already advertising their presence to potential mates. I’m glad they think spring is on the horizon!
The heathland here is owned by the Ministry of Defence and has been managed by Tweseldown Racecourse as a commercial equestrian training and competition facility since 1866. There are no official public rights of way marked on Ordnance Survey maps, but the racecourse allow access when it’s safe to do so and simply ask that we follow the Ministry of Defence Byelaws and all signs, notices and directions. The racecourse want Tweseldown to be part of the local community, but to keep everyone safe they ask that we walk elsewhere during busy times (9am-6pm) and competitions. And when we do come, we are responsible dog owners, keep dogs on leads and keep well clear of jumps, buildings and marquee areas.
The area is an important heathland nature reserve and part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. The racecourse have worked very hard in recent years to make sure it’s managed sensitively, with heathland wildlife very much in mind. Heathland birds, including, Woodlarks, Dartford Warblers and Nightjars, tend to nest on, or very near, the ground. To help them, it’s essential that we keep to main paths from March to September. And 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, and help the racecourse keep us all safe too.
Good to know…
Find a free car park on Bourley Road, Church Crookham near Fleet in Hampshire. What3Words: imperious.bicker.spilled.
Dogs on leads please.
If you’re a regular dog walker and would like to try somewhere new, to help protect this fragile place, our top recommendations are Naishes Wood at Crookham Park (1.3 miles), Edenbrook Country Park near Fleet (3.3 miles) and Southwood Country Park near Farnborough (3.2 miles). Our ‘Greenspace on your doorstep’ pages have loads more options too.
Any concerns can be reported to the racecourse on 01252 819961.
[Click on the images for the full size versions, and to see the captions for more information]
Thank you everyone 🙏
Thames Basin Heaths Partnership