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Surrey Heath Borough Council
The borough of Surrey Heath is fortunate in possessing a variety of excellent wildlife sites within its boundaries.
From open heathland and wooded areas through to riverside habitats, there is a great contrast.
These areas are managed through the Councils Greenspace Team.
The Lightwater Country Park, at 59 hectares is the largest open space owned by Surrey Heath Borough Council. It provides a variety of natural habitats, from ponds, to woodland, meadow, scrub and heathland.
The heathland is ecologically the most important habitat; being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA). This means the site is protected from development or any other use that would result in damage to the land.
In addition to the legal protection given to the site practical conservation tasks are undertaken in order to improve the heathland for the flora and fauna. This work is undertaken either by the Greenspace Team, volunteers or contractors. Taking place in the autumn and winter it avoids the wildlife breeding season.
The Council has also been awarded grants to carry out larger and longer-term projects to improve the wildlife value on this site and others. These grants have come from private funds, European Union and Government funded bodies.
Also within the Country Park is the Heathland Visitor Centre. The Centre houses a display about heathland, covering its history, wildlife and management. This is available for groups and special occasions.
This building is the focus for educational visits for school groups, societies and the public. From here the Greenspace Team often lead guided walks and events to help visitors discover more about the special wildlife of the heathland and the need to conserve it.
Other heathland sites owned by the Council include Turf Hill Park and part of Brentmoor Heath. Both of these areas are also Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Areas but differ in that Turf Hill is wholly managed through the Councils Greenspace service while Brentmoor Heath is owned half and half by the Council and the Ministry of Defence. The Surrey Wildlife Trust through a management agreement manages the site as a whole. Brentmoor Heath extends to 60 hectares and has been designated a Local Nature Reserve due to the quality of the natural habitat and its importance to the local wildlife community.
In contrast to the open heathland the Council also manage some wooded sites. Woodlands can be found at Diamond ridge, Warren Wood, Hilly Fields and Chobham Place Woods. Whilst all of these sites are good for wildlife Chobham Place is arguably the best as it possesses many large old trees which provide a habitat in themselves. These old trees are used by hole-nesting birds such as Tawny Owls and Stock Doves and also by roosting bats.
Other parks with wildlife interest include Frimley Lodge Park, which borders the Basingstoke canal, a SSI site and also contains areas of woodland. The hill top in Frimley Green recreation ground provides habitat for badgers, foxes and a variety of birds.
On the western boundary of the borough is Blackwater Park. This linear site follows a stretch of the River Blackwater and forms a section of the 30 kilometre long Blackwater Valley footpath. The river is home to Kingfishers, Grey Wagtails and wildfowl.
There are also several smaller Council-owned open spaces scattered throughout Camberley and Frimley. These include Watchetts Lakes, Watchmoor Reserve, Tomlins Pond, Alphington Pond and Balmoral Drive open space. All these areas contain open water fringed by trees and woodland. The ponds themselves provide homes for ducks, moor hens, geese and, in some cases, swans.
Many of these smaller areas are designated Sites of Nature Conservation Importance due to their wildlife value.
- View more Parks and Recreation Areas information
- Heathland and Wildlife at Lightwater Country Park information
This service or information is provided by Surrey Heath Borough Council