Thursley Common

Last updated
Designations
Official nameThursley & Ockley Bog
Designated14 February 1994
Reference no.647 [1]

Thursley Common, looking over the bog pools in wintertime Panorama of Thursley Common, looking over the bog pools.JPG
Thursley Common, looking over the bog pools in wintertime

Thursley Common is a National nature reserve in Surrey, England, and has also been designated as a Ramsar wetland. It is also part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest called Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons.

Contents

Geography

Thursley Common, looking towards Pudmore Pond Thursley Common.JPG
Thursley Common, looking towards Pudmore Pond

Thursley Common is an area of some 350 hectares of heathland in the southwest of Surrey, England. It is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and as a National nature reserve. [2] Lying between the villages of Thursley and Elstead, the common is generally 2–300 feet above sea-level. The site consists of extensive areas of open dry heathland, with peat bogs, ponds, boggy pools and ditches, and both pine and deciduous woodland. There are sandy tracks and paths, and a "Heath trail" leads from the carpark around a circuit, with boardwalks in boggy areas and with a number of information boards. [3]

History

In a heatwave in 2006, an out-of-control wildfire burned 60% of the common, but by 2010 the heath was regenerating, with heather and gorse spreading across the charred ground. Forty-five pairs of Dartford warblers were recorded before the event, and six pairs in 2010. [4]

In 2020, another wildfire resulted in 150 hectares, about a third of the core reserve, being burnt. An estimated 200-300 animal and plant species have been affected. [5]

A subsequant 'Preserve Our Reserve' campaign has raised over £30,000 for initial clearance works, to promote early regeneration of the flora and fauna, for preservation projects to restore the habitat and providing information & future fire prevention. The funds are being managed by Elstead and Thursley Parish Councils who will liaise with Natural England over the projects. [6]

Wildlife

Common Lizard on one of the boardwalks Common Lizard on Thursley Common 2.JPG
Common Lizard on one of the boardwalks

Thursley Common is one of the last remaining heathlands in Surrey. It is famed for its diverse wildlife. Whilst crossbill, red kite, woodlark and stonechat are regularly seen, birds such as Dartford warbler, whinchat, wheatear, tree pipit and redstart are frequently encountered. Rarer birds including osprey, black redstart and great grey shrike also visit the common. There are nationally important breeding populations of nightjar and wood lark. The wetlands support several rare invertebrates, twenty species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded here, and there are six species of native reptile in the reserve. [7]

Related Research Articles

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Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths historical site in United Kingdom

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Cors Caron Site of Special Scientific Interest in Wales

Cors Caron is a raised bog in Ceredigion, Wales. Cors is the Welsh word for "bog": the site is also known as Tregaron Bog, being near the small town of Tregaron. Cors Caron covers an area of approximately 862 acres (349 ha). Cors Caron represents the most intact surviving example of a raised bog landscape in the United Kingdom. About 44 different species groups inhabit the area including various land and aquatic plants, fish, insects, crustaceans, lichen, fungi, terrestrial mammals and birds.

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Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve

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Dorset Heaths area of heathland in southern England

The Dorset Heaths form an important area of heathland within the Poole Basin in southern England. Much of the area is protected.

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The Thames Basin Heaths are a natural region in southern England in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, a mottled belt of land running from east to west.

Hartland Moor

Hartland Moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the south side of Poole Harbour near the town of Wareham in Dorset, England. It consists of lowland heathland.

Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons

Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons is a 1,878.5-hectare (4,642-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Godalming in Surrey. Thursley and Hankley Commons are Nature Conservation Review sites, Grade I. An area of 115.1 hectares is a Local Nature Reserve called The Flashes and an area of 180 hectares is the Elstead Group of Commons, a nature reserve managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust. Thursley Common is a National Nature Reserve. An area of 265.7 hectares is the Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar site. The site is a Special Protection Area and part of the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham Special Area of Conservation.

Bisley and West End Commons

Bisley and West End Commons is a 37.2-hectare (92-acre) Local Nature Reserve west of Woking in Surrey. It is part of the 46-hectare (110-acre) Bisley & West End Commons and Reidon Hill nature reserve, which is owned by Surrey County Council and managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. The site is also part of the Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest, the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham Special Area of Conservation and the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area,

Brentmoor Heath

Brentmoor Heath is a 28.6-hectare (71-acre) Local Nature Reserve east of Camberley in Surrey. It is part of Brentmoor Heath and Folly Bog nature reserve, the ownership of which is divided between the Ministry of Defence, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council, and is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. The site is also part of Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath site of Special Scientific Interest, Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham Special Area of Conservation and Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

Barossa nature reserve

Barossa is a 498-hectare (1,230-acre) nature reserve north of Camberley in Surrey. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence and managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust. It is part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and the Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths Site of Special Scientific Interest

Elstead Group of Commons

Elstead Group of Commons is a 180-hectare (440-acre) nature reserve east of Elstead in Surrey. It is composed of Royal, Elstead and Ockley Commons, which are owned by the Ministry of Defence and managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, and Bagmoor Common, which is owned and managed by the Trust. The site is part of Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

References

  1. "Thursley & Ockley Bog". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. "Thursley NNR". Natural England. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  3. "Thursley NNR". Surrey's National Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  4. "Heathland: A Burning Issue". The Independent. 13 July 2010.
  5. "'Horrific' Thursley National Nature Reserve wildfire affects around 200 to 300 species". Surrey Live. 2 June 2020.
  6. "Preserve Our Reserve – Thursley NNR Support Fund – now over £30k!". Vantage Point Mag.
  7. "Thursley & Ockley Bog". Ramsar. Retrieved 22 March 2020.

Coordinates: 51°09′42″N0°42′30″W / 51.1616°N 0.7082°W / 51.1616; -0.7082