Thames Basin Heaths SPA

Chobham Common

The Thames Basin Heaths Partnership is a local partnership of councils, land managers and nature conservation bodies conserving heathland. 

Many of you will know your local heaths, places like Chobham Common and Bagshot Heath. But did you know these heaths, and others across Surrey, Hampshire & Berkshire, have a huge amount of legal protection, protecting them for wildlife and guarding them against development? 

Heathland birds aren’t your run of the mill flock. And because a heath is covered in low-growing shrubs, rather than trees, that’s where special birds like the nightjar, woodlark and Dartford warbler nest - on or near the ground, in amongst the heather and gorse.

But that means they are vulnerable to other animals, so during the nesting season dogs must be kept on leads in the nesting areas. Signs in these areas let dog walkers know of the restrictions. 

Thousands of years ago heathland covered vast areas of southern England, but in the last century local heathland has shrunk dramatically and pressure is increasing. It’s now more important than ever for us to act together to protect this precious and fragile landscape for the future. In 2005 the heaths in this area of Surrey, Hampshire & Berkshire became the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership is here to help you connect with it, protect it and enjoy it for years to come!

When visiting heathland sites, everyone can help by:

  • Keeping to the main paths.
  • Keeping dogs out of vegetation.
  • Helping to prevent fires by not lighting fires or BBQs, ensuring all cigarettes are out and taking all litter home.