Heathland walk on Yateley Common

A brief description of the walk

The heathlands, woodlands and ponds of Yateley Common offer a variety of experiences to visitors.

By following the route on the map you will pass by many of the great features Yateley Common has to offer.

Key

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    • Route
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    • Temporarily closed
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    • Restricted use

Directions

On your left is Wyndham's Pool. We believe it originated as a fish pond and in the early 12th century was used as a bathing pool. The name of this area is Brandy Bottom. Its name is said to derive from the fact that smuggled brandy was once hidden here on its way to London. This pond often dries up during the summer. This pond is valuable to a range of wildlife. particularly for some scarce dragonflies and damselflies, including the black darter and downy emerald.

The area of open heathland is mainly heather with other vegetation types such as gorse, grass and small trees. This variety of habitats enables a wide diversity of wildlife to survive. Although it is important to prevent heathland from reverting to woodland, we try to maintain areas of scattered trees.

The woodland is known as the 'Old Ely' and acts as lookout posts for birds. This woodland sits on the original site of the Ely Pub and contains many oaks and is home to a variety of fungi, best seen during the autumn. This is a great place to look out over the heathland.

The area to your left is covered in much younger, less dense heather. It is important to have a variety of ages as a lot of wildlife is specialised to heather of a certain age. Young heather such as this provides a breeding site for silver studded blue butterflies, whilst woodlarks like to nest on the bare ground. This area of gorse dominated scrub is an ideal place to see the Dartford warbler, which nests close to the ground.

This woodland is what heathland would naturally become if left unmanaged. Although we clear some woodland to preserve the heathland, we keep other areas in order to increase habitat diversity. Woodlands have their own associated wildlife, the diversity of which increases with age.