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List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Surrey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Windsor Great Park
Johnson's Pond in Windsor Great Park

In England, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are designated by Natural England, which is responsible for protecting England's natural environment. Designation as an SSSI gives legal protection to the most important wildlife and geological sites.[1] As of May 2019, there are 62 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the county,[2] 52 of which have been designated for their biological interest, 8 for their geological interest, and 2 for both biological and geological interest.

Surrey is a county in South East England. It has an area of 642 square miles (1,660 square kilometres)[3] and an estimated population of 1.1 million as of 2017.[4] It is bordered by Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. Its top level of government is provided by Surrey County Council and the lower level by eleven boroughs and districts, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley and Woking.[5]

Fourteen sites are also Special Protection Areas, six are Special Areas of Conservation, six are Ramsar sites, eleven are Nature Conservation Review sites, ten are Geological Conservation Review sites, twelve are Local Nature Reserves, three are National Nature Reserves and one is on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Five include Scheduled Monuments and twenty-six are managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Key

Sites

Site name Photograph B G Area[a] Public access Location[a] Other classifications Map[b] Citation[c] Description
Ash to Brookwood Heaths
Ash to Brookwood Heaths
Green tickY 1,576.3 hectares
(3,895 acres)
[6]
PP Woking
51°16′37″N 0°41′13″W / 51.277°N 0.687°W / 51.277; -0.687 (Ash to Brookwood Heaths)
SU 917 539
[6]
NCR,[7] SAC,[8] SPA,[9] SWT[10] Map Citation This site has dry heathland, wet heath and bog. Large areas have been protected from development because they are army training ranges. The site is important for mosses and liverworts and there are nationally important populations of nightjars, woodlarks, Dartford warblers and hobbies.[11]
Auclaye
Auclaye
Green tickY 0.6 hectares
(1.5 acres)
[12]
NO Dorking
51°08′13″N 0°19′55″W / 51.137°N 0.332°W / 51.137; -0.332 (Auclaye)
TQ 168 388
[12]
GCR[13] Map Citation This site is important for its fossils of Mesozoic insects, with many well preserved bodies from several orders dating to the Lower Cretaceous period. It has produced new species of aculeata (wasps, ants and bees) and crickets.[14]
Banstead Downs
Banstead Downs
Green tickY 126.7 hectares
(313 acres)
[15]
PP Sutton
51°20′02″N 0°12′14″W / 51.334°N 0.204°W / 51.334; -0.204 (Banstead Downs)
TQ 252 610
[15]
SM[16] Map Citation This downland site has large areas of woodland, chalk grassland and scrub. It is important for birds, with 57 species recorded, out of which 44 breed there. Breeding species include stonechat, grasshopper warbler, lesser whitethroat, great and lesser spotted woodpecker and tawny owl. There is a rich chalk flora.[17]
Basingstoke Canal
Basingstoke Canal
Green tickY 101.3 hectares
(250 acres)
[18]
PP Farnborough
51°16′37″N 0°46′41″W / 51.277°N 0.778°W / 51.277; -0.778 (Basingstoke Canal)
SU 855 538
[18]
NCR[19] Map[d] Citation This is the most botanically rich aquatic area in England and flora include hairlike pondweed and tasteless water-pepper, both of which are nationally scarce. The site is also nationally important for its invertebrates. There are 24 species of dragonfly and other species include two nationally rare Red Data Book insects.[20]
Blackheath
Blackheath
Green tickY 141.6 hectares
(350 acres)
[21]
YES Guildford
51°12′14″N 0°30′58″W / 51.204°N 0.516°W / 51.204; -0.516 (Blackheath)
TQ 038 460
[21]
Map Citation This area of dry lowland heath and acid grassland is managed for conservation and fauna includes a wide range of breeding birds, the vulnerable heathland spider Oxyopes heterophthalmus and the rare beetle Lomechusoides strumosa. There is also woodland which has a rare moss, Dicranum polysetum.[22]
Blindley Heath
Blindley Heath
Green tickY 26.3 hectares
(65 acres)
[23]
YES Lingfield
51°11′10″N 0°02′46″W / 51.186°N 0.046°W / 51.186; -0.046 (Blindley Heath)
TQ 367 448
[23]
LNR,[24] SWT[25] Map Citation This damp grassland site on Weald Clay has a rich flora. There are also a number of ponds and the Ray Brook runs through the heath. The grassland is dominated by tussock grass and there are scattered oaks, hawthorns, willows and blackthorns.[26]
Bookham Commons
Bookham Common
Green tickY 154.7 hectares
(382 acres)
[27]
YES Leatherhead
51°17′46″N 0°23′02″W / 51.296°N 0.384°W / 51.296; -0.384 (Bookham Commons)
TQ 128 564
[27]
Map Citation These commons have a variety of habitats. Approximately two-thirds of the site is woodland, but there are also areas of scrub, grassland and open water. Many species of insects have been recorded, including 611 beetles, 1140 flies, 146 bugs, 201 spiders, 17 dragonflies and more than 300 butterflies and moths. This represents over one quarter of the British list for these species.[28]
Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths
Bagshot Heath
Green tickY 1,696.3 hectares
(4,192 acres)
[29]
PP Camberley
51°23′10″N 0°44′31″W / 51.386°N 0.742°W / 51.386; -0.742 (Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths)
SU 877 640
[29]
SPA,[9] SWT[30][31] Map[e] Citation These woods have a variety of habitats with broadleaved woodland, a conifer plantation, heathland, valley mire and ponds. The heath and plantation support internationally important populations of three vulnerable birds, woodlark, Nightjar and Dartford warbler, together with nationally important populations of dragonflies and damselflies.[32]
Brook Brick Pit
Brook Brick Pit
Green tickY 0.9 hectares
(2.2 acres)
[33]
NO Godalming
51°07′55″N 0°40′19″W / 51.132°N 0.672°W / 51.132; -0.672 (Brook Brick Pit)
SU 930 378
[33]
GCR[34] Map Citation This site exposes rocks of the Atherfield Clay Formation, dating to the Aptian stage of the Lower Cretaceous around 120 million years ago. It shows the onset of marine conditions in southern England in the Aptian and it has diverse bivalve fossils.[35]
Charleshill
Charleshill
Green tickY 10.1 hectares
(25 acres)
[36]
YES Godalming
51°11′17″N 0°43′16″W / 51.188°N 0.721°W / 51.188; -0.721 (Charleshill)
SU 895 440
[36]
SWT[37] Map Citation This site has wet and dry meadows with a very wet area which has quaking mire. The mire is dominated by bottle sedge, marsh cinquefoil and bog-bean, together with white sedge in the wettest part. There is also some wet woodland.[38]
Charterhouse to Eashing
Charterhouse to Eashing
Green tickY 68.4 hectares
(169 acres)
[39]
PP Godalming
51°11′24″N 0°38′28″W / 51.190°N 0.641°W / 51.190; -0.641 (Charterhouse to Eashing)
SU 951 443
[39]
Map Citation This is a steep valley cut through a broad flood plain. Much of the site is wooded, with areas of tall fen, grassland and standing water. There is a diverse fly population, including several rare species, such as Lonchoptera scutellata cranefly, Stratiomys potamida and the cranefly Gonomyia bifida.[40]
Chiddingfold Forest
Chiddingfold Forest
Green tickY 542.5 hectares
(1,341 acres)
[41]
PP Billingshurst
51°05′20″N 0°34′52″W / 51.089°N 0.581°W / 51.089; -0.581 (Chiddingfold Forest)
SU 995 332
[41]
SWT[42] Map[f] Citation The site consists of a number of separate areas with a mosaic of habitats, such as ancient woodland and conifer plantations. Over 500 species of butterflies and moths have been recorded, including several which are rare and endangered, such as the large tortoiseshell butterfly and the rest harrow and orange upperwing moths. Other insects include the Cheilosia carbonaria hoverfly.[43]
Chipstead Downs
Chipstead Downs
Green tickY 157.4 hectares
(389 acres)
[44]
YES Banstead
51°18′18″N 0°11′06″W / 51.305°N 0.185°W / 51.305; -0.185 (Chipstead Downs)
TQ 266 578
[44]
SWT[45][46] Map Citation This site has ancient woodland and steeply sloping chalk grassland together with associated secondary woodland and scrub. A large part of the grassland is dominated by tor-grass, but in some areas mowing and rabbit grazing have produced a rich chalk grassland flora including the endangered greater yellow-rattle. There are rich bird and butterfly fauna.[47]
Chobham Common
Chobham Common
Green tickY 655.7 hectares
(1,620 acres)
[48]
YES Chobham
51°22′23″N 0°36′14″W / 51.373°N 0.604°W / 51.373; -0.604 (Chobham Common)
SU 973 647
[48]
NCR,[49] NNR,[50] SAC,[8] SM,[51][52][53] SPA,[9] SWT[54][55] Map Citation The common has a variety of habitats, such as wet and dry heathland, and its fauna and flora include many rare and scarce species. There are more than eighty birds species, including nationally important breeding populations of nightjars, woodlarks and Dartford warblers. The site is also very important for invertebrates, with sixty-four rare or scarce species.[56]
Clock House Brickworks
Clock House Brickworks
Green tickY 35.9 hectares
(89 acres)
[57]
NO Dorking
51°08′06″N 0°19′16″W / 51.135°N 0.321°W / 51.135; -0.321 (Clock House Brickworks)
TQ 176 386
[57]
GCR[58] Map Citation The pit exposes temperate and subtropical palaeoenvironments of the Weald Clay Group, dating to the Lower Cretaceous. The site is particularly important for its several thousand fossil insects, including the first described social insect, a termite. There are also aquatic plants, fish and reptiles.[59]
Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath
Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath
Green tickY 1,130.5 hectares
(2,794 acres)
[60]
PP Woking
51°19′34″N 0°22′01″W / 51.326°N 0.367°W / 51.326; -0.367 (Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath)
SU 925 594
[60]
LNR,[61] NCR,[62] SAC,[8] SPA,[9] SWT[63] Map Citation Habitats in this site include wet and dry heath, bog and unimproved grassland. Much of the site is a military danger area and as a result little is known of its rare fauna and flora. Waterlogged areas have a layer of peat with a mass of peat mosses and a diverse bog flora. Areas of open heath provide a habitat for a variety of heathland bird species to breed.[64]
Colyers Hanger
Colyers Hanger
Green tickY 26.6 hectares
(66 acres)
[65]
YES Guildford
51°13′26″N 0°31′05″W / 51.224°N 0.518°W / 51.224; -0.518 (Colyers Hanger)
TQ 036 482
[65]
NCR,[66] SWT[67] Map Citation This is an area of ancient forest on a south facing slope. It has a variety of woodland types due to the geological diversity of the escarpment at different levels. At the bottom is a stream with poorly drained woodland dominated by alder and a ground layer with plants such as marsh marigold and pendulous sedge.[68]
Combe Bottom
Combe Bottom
Green tickY 42.1 hectares
(104 acres)
[69]
YES Guildford
51°13′44″N 0°28′12″W / 51.229°N 0.470°W / 51.229; -0.470 (Combe Bottom)
TQ 069 489
[69]
LNR,[70] SWT[71] Map Citation This site on a slope of the North Downs is mainly woodland and scrub, with a small area of unimproved chalk grassland. The woodland is dominated by beech and yew. There is a wide variety of bryophytes, including the rare moss Herzogiella seligeri.[72]
Devil's Punch Bowl
Devil's Punch Bowl
Green tickY 282.2 hectares
(697 acres)
[73]
YES Hindhead
51°07′12″N 0°43′37″W / 51.120°N 0.727°W / 51.120; -0.727 (Devil's Punch Bowl)
SU 892 364
[73]
SPA[74] Map Citation Habitats in this site include broadleaved and conifer woodland, heath and meadows. The invertebrate fauna is rich and varied. More than sixty species of bird breed on the site, including wood warblers, redstarts, firecrests, redpolls and crossbill.[75]
Dumsey Meadow
Dumsey Meadow
Green tickY 9.6 hectares
(24 acres)
[76]
YES Chertsey
51°23′17″N 0°29′02″W / 51.388°N 0.484°W / 51.388; -0.484 (Dumsey Meadow)
TQ 056 665
[76]
Map Citation This unimproved and species-rich meadow is grazed by ponies and cattle. The most common grasses are rye-grass, common bent, red fescue and Yorkshire-fog, and there are herbs such as creeping cinquefoil, ribwort plantain and lesser hawkbit.[77]
Epsom and Ashtead Commons
Epsom Common
Green tickY 360.4 hectares
(891 acres)
[78]
YES Ashtead
51°19′37″N 0°18′29″W / 51.327°N 0.308°W / 51.327; -0.308 (Epsom and Ashtead Commons)
TQ 180 600
[78]
LNR,[79] NNR,[80] SM[81] Map Citation These commons have diverse habitats on London Clay which provide habitats for rich communities of breeding birds. This is one of the most important sites in the county for invertebrates, including a threatened beetle, Rhizophagus oblongicollis and three nationally rare species, the beetle Bibloporus minutus and the flies Ctenophora bimaculata and Oedalea apicalis.[82]
Esher Commons
Esher Commons
Green tickY 360.8 hectares
(892 acres)
[83]
YES Esher
51°20′53″N 0°22′34″W / 51.348°N 0.376°W / 51.348; -0.376 (Esher Commons)
TQ 132 622
[83]
LNR[84][85] Map Citation More than 2,000 species of insects have been recorded on this site, many of which are nationally rare or scarce, although some have probably been lost due to recent reductions in the area of heath. However, there is still an outstanding community of invertebrates, and rare species include the water beetle Graphoderus cinereus, the ladybird Coccinella distincta and the bark beetle Platypus cylindrus.[86]
Glover's Wood
Glover's Wood
Green tickY 74.5 hectares
(184 acres)
[87]
YES Horley
51°09′07″N 0°14′46″W / 51.152°N 0.246°W / 51.152; -0.246 (Glover's Wood)
TQ 228 407
[87]
NCR[66] Map Citation This semi-natural broadleaved wood has a very rich ground flora, including dog's mercury, yellow archangel, ramsons and woodland buttercup. The insect fauna has not been well studied, but it is known that there are some rare craneflies such as Molophilus lackschewitzianus.[88]
Godstone Ponds
Godstone Ponds
Green tickY 123.6 hectares
(305 acres)
[89]
PP Godstone
51°14′38″N 0°03′32″W / 51.244°N 0.059°W / 51.244; -0.059 (Godstone Ponds)
TQ 356 512
[89]
SWT[90] Map Citation The three ponds on this site have been created by damming, with the oldest, Leigh Mill Pond, estimated to be around 1,500 years old. There are also areas of wet alder woodland, and 54 species of breeding birds have been recorded. The site is also important for invertebrates, especially craneflies.[91]
Gong Hill
Gong Hill
Green tickY 5.9 hectares
(15 acres)
[92]
NO Farnham
51°10′59″N 0°47′17″W / 51.183°N 0.788°W / 51.183; -0.788 (Gong Hill)
SU 848 433
[92]
Map Citation This heathland site is dominated by ling, bell heather and wavy hair-grass, with other plants including bryophytes and lichens. The south facing aspect of the site and patches of bare sand make it suitable for egg-laying reptiles, including a large population of the endangered and specially protected sand lizard.[93]
Hackhurst and White Downs
Hackhurst Downs
Green tickY 185.1 hectares
(457 acres)
[94]
YES Dorking
51°13′48″N 0°24′07″W / 51.230°N 0.402°W / 51.230; -0.402 (Hackhurst and White Downs)
TQ 117 491
[94]
LNR,[95] NCR,[96] SWT[97][98] Map Citation This steeply sloping site is part of the North Downs escarpment, which has grassland, secondary woodland and scrub. It has a rich invertebrate fauna with forty species of butterfly, including adonis blue, chalkhill blue, brown hairstreak, Duke of Burgundy fritillary, marbled white and silver-spotted skipper.[99]
Hankley Farm
Hankley Farm
Green tickY NO 2.4 hectares
(5.9 acres)
[100]
NO Godalming
51°11′02″N 0°43′41″W / 51.184°N 0.728°W / 51.184; -0.728 (Hankley Farm)
SU 890 435
[100]
Map Citation

This sandy arable field has been designated an SSSI because of its large population of a nationally endangered plant, red-tipped cudweed. This was formerly a common weed on arable fields, but it has been in sharp decline since the 1960s. The colonies in the site and neighbouring fields may represent as much as 50% of the British population.[101]

Hedgecourt
Hedgecourt
Green tickY 33.6 hectares
(83 acres)
[102]
YES East Grinstead
51°08′46″N 0°03′50″W / 51.146°N 0.064°W / 51.146; -0.064 (Hedgecourt)
TQ 355 403
[102]
SWT[103] Map Citation Hedgecourt Lake is an ancient mill pond formed by damming the Eden Brook. Other habitats are fen, grassland and woodland. There are wetland breeding birds such as water rail, mute swan, sedge warbler, kingfisher and tufted duck.[104]
Horsell Common
Horsell Common
Green tickY 152.0 hectares
(376 acres)
[105]
YES Woking
51°20′10″N 0°33′47″W / 51.336°N 0.563°W / 51.336; -0.563 (Horsell Common)
TQ 002 606
[105]
SPA[9] Map Citation This site on the Bagshot Beds has diverse fauna and flora characteristic of heathland areas. It is one of the richest places in the county for bees, wasps and ants, with 163 species recorded, including 15 spider-hunting wasps, the potter wasp and the European wool carder bee.[106]
Kempton Park Reservoirs
Kempton Park Reservoirs
Green tickY 25.3 hectares
(63 acres)
[107]
NO Feltham
51°25′23″N 0°23′31″W / 51.423°N 0.392°W / 51.423; -0.392 (Kempton Park Reservoirs)
TQ 119 706
[107]
Ramsar,[108] SPA[109] Map[g] Citation Waders that breed regularly include northern lapwing, common redshank, ringed plover and little ringed plover. The first successful inland breeding in the British Isles of pied avocet was at this reservoir. Other birds recorded include smew, garganey, Temminck's stint, spotted crake and red-necked phalarope.[110]
Knight and Bessborough Reservoirs
Bessborough Reservoir
Green tickY 63.4 hectares
(157 acres)
[111]
NO West Molesey
51°24′00″N 0°23′35″W / 51.400°N 0.393°W / 51.400; -0.393 (Knight and Bessborough Reservoirs)
TQ 119 680
[111]
Ramsar,[108] SPA[109] Map Citation These reservoirs support many wildfowl, including nationally important numbers of wintering shovelers and substantial populations of gadwalls, cormorants and goldeneyes.[112]
Langham Pond
Langham Pond
Green tickY 26.7 hectares
(66 acres)
[113]
YES Egham
51°26′17″N 0°33′36″W / 51.438°N 0.560°W / 51.438; -0.560 (Langham Pond)
TQ 002 720
[113]
Map Citation The pond and its surrounding alluvial meadows on chalk represent a habitat unique in southern England. The pond is the remains of an oxbow lake, formed when a meander of the River Thames was bypassed. The pond contains all four British duckweeds, three nationally scarce plants and a species of fly which has been found nowhere else in Britain, Cerodontha ornata.[114]
Leith Hill
Leith Hill
Green tickY 337.9 hectares
(835 acres)
[115]
PP Dorking
51°11′06″N 0°22′44″W / 51.185°N 0.379°W / 51.185; -0.379 (Leith Hill)
TQ 134 441
[115]
SWT[116] Map Citation These woods support diverse breeding birds, including all three species of British woodpeckers found in Britain. The invertebrate population is outstanding, with many nationally rare and uncommon species, such as the beetles Notolaemus unifasciatus, which is found on dead wood, Silvanus bidentatus, which feeds on fungus, and the water beetle Agabus melanarius. There are two nationally rare moths.[117]
Lingfield Cernes
Lingfield Cernes
Green tickY 10.3 hectares
(25 acres)
[118]
FP Edenbridge
51°06′30″N 0°01′55″W / 51.1084°N 0.032°W / 51.1084; -0.032 (Lingfield Cernes)
TQ 421 447
[118]
Map Citation This site has unimproved meadows which are poorly drained and there are a number of uncommon plants, including two which are nationally scarce, true fox-sedge and narrow-leaved water dropwort. The site also has species-rich mature hedgerows and aquatic plants in ditches which run into the Eden Brook, which runs along the northern boundary.[119]
Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment
Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment
Green tickY Green tickY 1,016.4 hectares
(2,512 acres)
[120]
PP Tadworth
51°15′36″N 0°17′24″W / 51.260°N 0.290°W / 51.260; -0.290 (Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment)
TQ 194 526
[120]
GCR,[121] NCR,[122] SAC,[123] SWT[124][125][126][127][128] Map Citation This eight mile long site on the North Downs contains an outstanding range of wildlife habitats, including large areas of woodland and chalk grassland. Mole Gap has a variety of Quaternary landforms and there are well developed river cliffs where alluvial fans have diverted the River Mole against the valley sides.[129]
Moor Park
Moor Park
Green tickY 6.7 hectares
(17 acres)
[130]
YES Farnham
51°12′18″N 0°45′32″W / 51.205°N 0.759°W / 51.205; -0.759 (Moor Park)
SU 868 458
[130]
Map Citation This site in the valley of the River Wey is mainly alder carr, which is a nationally rare habitat. It is dominated by alder, with some crack willow. An area of swamp is mainly covered by common reed, with other plants including  water-plantain, marsh violet, opposite leaved golden-saxifrage and hemlock water dropwort.[131]
Netherside Stream Outcrops
Netherside Stream Outcrops
Green tickY 2.9 hectares
(7.2 acres)
[132]
YES Haslemere
51°05′53″N 0°39′22″W / 51.098°N 0.656°W / 51.098; -0.656 (Netherside Stream Outcrops)
SU 942 341
[132]
GCR[133] Map Citation This is the Type locality for the Netherside Sand Member of the Weald Clay Group, dating to the Lower Cretaceous around 130 million years ago. Upward sloping sandstone has fossil Lycopodites plants in vertical life positions.[134]
Ockham and Wisley Commons
Ockham and Wisley Commons
Green tickY 256.0 hectares
(633 acres)
[135]
YES Cobham
51°19′05″N 0°27′22″W / 51.318°N 0.456°W / 51.318; -0.456 (Ockham and Wisley Commons)
TQ 077 588
[135]
LNR,[136] SPA,[9] SWT[137] Map Citation This site is mainly heathland but it also has areas of open water, bog, woodland and scrub. It has a rich flora and it is of national importance for true flies and for dragonflies and damselflies. Rare species include the white-faced darter dragonfly and the Thyridanthrax fenestratus bee fly.[138]
Papercourt
Papercourt
Green tickY 70.0 hectares
(173 acres)
[139]
NO Woking
51°17′56″N 0°30′54″W / 51.299°N 0.515°W / 51.299; -0.515 (Papercourt)
TQ 036 566
[139]
SWT[140] Map Citation This site has a variety of wetland habitats with marshes, unimproved meadows, streams and flooded gravel pits. More than seventy species of birds breed on Papercourt and ninety species winter there. The stream has a rich flora such as greater sweet-grass, reed canary grass and red pondweed.[141]
Puttenham and Crooksbury Commons
Puttenham Common
Green tickY 113.8 hectares
(281 acres)
[142]
YES Guildford
51°12′25″N 0°41′49″W / 51.207°N 0.697°W / 51.207; -0.697 (Puttenham and Crooksbury Commons)
SU 911 461
[142]
SM,[143] SWT[144] Map Citation These commons on the Folkestone Beds of the Lower Greensand are surviving fragments of a formerly much larger heath. Puttenham Common has two large pools which have a variety of aquatic plants such as white water lily and the rare eight-stamened waterwort. Crooksbury Common is important for the protected smooth snake and sand lizard.[145]
Quarry Hangers
Quarry Hangers
Green tickY 28.5 hectares
(70 acres)
[146]
PP Redhill
51°16′01″N 0°06′43″W / 51.267°N 0.112°W / 51.267; -0.112 (Quarry Hangers)
TQ 318 537
[146]
SWT[147] Map Citation This sloping site on the North Downs has species-rich chalk grassland, woodland and scrub. Heavily grazed areas are dominated by red fescue and sheep’s fescue, with flowering plants including horseshoe vetch, bird’s-foot trefoil and wild thyme. There is a taller sward in less grazed areas, with grasses such as upright brome and wood false-brome.[148]
Ranmore Common
Ranmore Common
Green tickY 224.3 hectares
(554 acres)
[149]
YES Dorking
51°14′49″N 0°21′50″W / 51.247°N 0.364°W / 51.247; -0.364 (Ranmore Common)
TQ 143 510
[149]
Map Citation This site is mainly woodland, some of it ancient, but there are also areas of heath and rough pasture. The dominant trees are pedunculate and sessile oaks, with a shrub layer of holly, silver birch and yew. There is a diverse community of breeding birds and invertebrates include the satin wave moth and the white admiral butterfly.[150]
Reigate Heath
Reigate Heath
Green tickY 61.7 hectares
(152 acres)
[151]
PP Reigate
51°14′13″N 0°13′52″W / 51.237°N 0.231°W / 51.237; -0.231 (Reigate Heath)
TQ 236 501
[151]
LNR,[152] SM[153] Map Citation Most of the site is heath and acidic grassland, with some areas of woodland and marshy meadow. One part is a golf course. The heath is mainly ling, bell heather and wavy hair-grass. Marshy meadows have Yorkshire fog, sharp-flowered rush, meadowsweet, wild angelica and marsh marigold.[154]
Seale Chalk Pit
Seale Chalk Pit
Green tickY 1.2 hectares
(3.0 acres)
[155]
NO Farnham
51°13′30″N 0°42′50″W / 51.225°N 0.714°W / 51.225; -0.714 (Seale Chalk Pit)
SU 899 481
[155]
GCR[156] SWT[157] Map Citation This former quarry exposes rocks of the Hog’s Back, and exhibits the separation of the folding Mesozoic rocks of the Weald from the Tertiary sediments of the London Basin.[158]
Sheepleas
heepleas
Green tickY Green tickY 99.9 hectares
(247 acres)
[159]
YES Leatherhead
51°15′11″N 0°26′28″W / 51.253°N 0.441°W / 51.253; -0.441 (Sheepleas)
TQ 089 516
[159]
GCR,[160] LNR,[161] SWT[162] Map Citation This sloping site on the North Downs has woodland, scrub and botanically rich grassland. The diverse invertebrate fauna includes two nationally rare flies, Norellia spinipes and Microdon devius. A cutting in Mountain Wood exposes a unique gravel Pleistocene deposit which throws light on the Quaternary history of the Weald and the evolution of the London Basin.[163]
Smart's and Prey Heaths
Smart's Heath
Green tickY 39.0 hectares
(96 acres)
[164]
YES Woking
51°17′31″N 0°35′10″W / 51.292°N 0.586°W / 51.292; -0.586 (Smart's and Prey Heaths)
SU 987 557
[164]
Map Citation These mainly damp heaths are dominated by ling, cross-leaved heath and purple moor-grass. Other plants include creeping willow, dwarf gorse, oblong-leaved sundew, deergrass and round-leaved sundew.[165]
Smokejack Clay Pit
Smokejack Clay Pit
Green tickY 56.0 hectares
(138 acres)
[166]
PP Cranleigh
51°07′30″N 0°24′54″W / 51.125°N 0.415°W / 51.125; -0.415 (Smokejack Clay Pit)
TQ 110 374
[166]
GCR[167][168] Map Citation This site exposes Lower Cretaceous rocks of the Weald Clay Group. Fossils of six orders of insects have been recorded and an unusual level of details has been preserved. It is the best Weald Clay reptile site, with crocodile teeth, coprolites and part of an Iguanodon. The holotype specimen of the fish eating theropod dinosaur, Baryonyx walkeri was discovered on the site.[169]
Staffhurst Wood
Staffhurst Wood
Green tickY 51.0 hectares
(126 acres)
[170]
YES Edenbridge
51°13′08″N 0°01′12″W / 51.219°N 0.020°W / 51.219; -0.020 (Staffhurst Wood)
TQ 412 486
[170]
LNR,[171] NCR,[66] SWT[172] Map Citation This common on Weald Clay has been wooded since the Anglo-Saxon period and past management has left many ancient trees. The canopy is mainly pedunculate oak and the older trees support a rich lichen flora. The moth fauna is outstanding, with six uncommon species.[173]
Staines Moor
Staines Moor
Green tickY 510.8 hectares
(1,262 acres)
[174]
PP Staines-upon-Thames
51°26′49″N 0°30′04″W / 51.447°N 0.501°W / 51.447; -0.501 (Staines Moor)
TQ 043 731
[174]
Ramsar,[108] SPA[109] Map Citation Staines Moor consists of the alluvial flood meadows, the King George VI Reservoir, the Staines Reservoirs and a stretch of the River Colne. The reservoirs have nationally important populations of wintering wildfowl and a pond has a nationally important aquatic flora, including one of only three known British localities of the brown galingale.[175]
Stockstone Quarry
Stockstone Quarry
Green tickY 3.9 hectares
(9.6 acres)
[176]
NO Farnham
51°08′06″N 0°44′56″W / 51.135°N 0.749°W / 51.135; -0.749 (Stockstone Quarry)
SU 876 381
[176]
GCR[177] Map Citation This site provides the best exposure of the Bargate Beds, a lithological sub-unit of the rocks of the Lower Greensand, dating to around 120 million years ago in the Lower Cretaceous epoch. It exhibits both calcareous and cherty sandstone.[178]
Stones Road Pond
Stones Road Pond
Green tickY 0.5 hectares
(1.2 acres)
[179]
NO Epsom
51°20′24″N 0°15′40″W / 51.340°N 0.261°W / 51.340; -0.261 (Stones Road Pond)
TQ 212 615
[179]
Map Citation This deep pond in an urban area has been designated an SSSI because it has one of the largest colonies of great crested newts in England, with 400 to 500 adults during the breeding season. There is also a population of more than 1,000 smooth newts.[180]
Thorpe Hay Meadow
Thorpe Hay Meadow
Green tickY 6.4 hectares
(16 acres)
[181]
YES Egham
51°25′12″N 0°31′19″W / 51.420°N 0.522°W / 51.420; -0.522 (Thorpe Hay Meadow)
TQ 029 700
[181]
SWT[182] Map Citation This hay meadow in the flood plain on alluvial gravels of the River Thames has plants which thrive in lime-rich soil. It is surrounded by mature hedgerows and a drainage ditch has five species of willow, including purple willow and almond willow.[183]
Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit
Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit
Green tickY 42.5 hectares
(105 acres)
[184]
YES Chertsey
51°24′11″N 0°31′30″W / 51.403°N 0.525°W / 51.403; -0.525 (Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit)
TQ 027 681
[184]
Ramsar,[108] SPA[109] Map Citation This former gravel pit has been designated an SSSI because it is nationally important for wintering gadwall. There are also several other species of wintering wildfowl, such as goldeneyes and smew.[185]
Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons
Thursley Commo
Green tickY 1,878.5 hectares
(4,642 acres)
[186]
PP Godalming
51°09′36″N 0°43′34″W / 51.160°N 0.726°W / 51.160; -0.726 (Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons)
SU 892 409
[186]
LNR,[187] NCR,[188] NNR[189] Ramsar,[190] SAC,[8] SPA,[191] SWT[192] Map Citation This site is of national importance for its invertebrates, birds and reptiles. It is mainly heathland but the valley mire on Thursley Common is one of the best in the country. Orthoptera include the nationally rare large marsh grasshopper. The site is one of the richest in southern England for birds and of outstanding importance for reptiles, such as the nationally rare sand lizard.[193]
Titsey Woods
Titsey Woods
Green tickY 45.3 hectares
(112 acres)
[194]
PP Oxted
51°16′08″N 0°02′02″W / 51.269°N 0.034°W / 51.269; -0.034 (Titsey Woods)
TQ 420 542
[194]
Map Citation This site is composed of wet semi-natural woods on Gault Clay with diverse ground flora. There are a number of uncommon lepidoptera, including the silver-washed fritillary and white-letter hairstreak butterflies and rose-marbled and alder kitten moths.[195]
Upper Common Pits
Upper Common Pits
Green tickY 3.0 hectares
(7.4 acres)
[196]
NO Leatherhead
51°14′17″N 0°27′00″W / 51.238°N 0.450°W / 51.238; -0.450 (Upper Common Pits)
TQ 083 499
[196]
GCR[197] Map Citation These pits have yielded deposits which are part of the Netley Heath Beds, which date to the Early Pleistocene and are related to the Red Crag Formation. There is a considerable difference in elevation compared with the Red Crag of East Anglia, suggesting differential warping. Near the base there are sandy deposits with many marine fossils.[198]
Vann Lake and Ockley Woods
Vann Lake and Ockley Woods
Green tickY 57.8 hectares
(143 acres)
[199]
PP Dorking
51°08′17″N 0°21′11″W / 51.138°N 0.353°W / 51.138; -0.353 (Vann Lake and Ockley Woods)
TQ 153 389
[199]
SWT[200] Map Citation This site has a lake and ancient woodland which is botanically rich, especially for mosses, liverworts and fungi. There are diverse species of breeding birds and invertebrates include the rare Molophilus lackschewitzianus cranefly and purple emperor and silver-washed fritillary buttterflies. There is also a population of dormice.[201]
Wey Valley Meadows
Wey Valley Meadows
Green tickY 94.1 hectares
(233 acres)
[202]
PP Guildford
51°12′22″N 0°34′48″W / 51.206°N 0.580°W / 51.206; -0.580 (Wey Valley Meadows)
SU 993 462
[202]
Map Citation This 4-kilometre (2.5-mile) long stretch of the valley of the River Wey consists of species-rich unimproved meadows. Much of it is maintained by rabbit grazing, but there are also areas wet fen meadow, woodland and scrub. Snipe, lapwing and kingfisher breed on the site.[203]
Whitmoor Common
Whitmoor Common
Green tickY 166.0 hectares
(410 acres)
[204]
YES Guildford
51°16′23″N 0°35′28″W / 51.273°N 0.591°W / 51.273; -0.591 (Whitmoor Common)
SU 984 536
[204]
LNR,[205] SPA,[9] SWT[206] Map Citation This site on the heath of the London Basin has a variety of heathland habitats, as well as areas of woodland, meadow and still and running water. The heath has a nationally scarce spider, Oxyopes heterophthalmus and beetle Hyperaspis pseudopustulata and there are nationally important populations of several bird species.[207]
Windsor Forest and Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Green tickY 1,778.9 hectares
(4,396 acres)
[208]
YES Windsor
51°26′38″N 0°37′55″W / 51.444°N 0.632°W / 51.444; -0.632 (Windsor Forest and Great Park)
SU 952 725
[208]
NCR,[209] RHPG,[210] SAC[211] Map[e] Citation This large site has woodland with many ancient trees and large areas of parkland. It is second only to the New Forest for the diversity of its invertebrates, including many Red Data Book beetles and flies. There is an internationally important population of the violet click beetle. The fungi species are very diverse, including some which are extremely rare.[212]
Woldingham and Oxted Downs
Woldingham and Oxted Downs
Green tickY 128.4 hectares
(317 acres)
[213]
PP Godstone
51°16′12″N 0°02′17″W / 51.270°N 0.038°W / 51.270; -0.038 (Woldingham and Oxted Downs)
TQ 370 542
[213]
Map Citation This sloping site on the North Downs has species-rich chalk grassland, woodland and scrub. Common plants in grazed areas include red fescue, sheep’s fescue, quaking grass, yellow oat grass, purging flax, bee orchid, thyme, common centaury and yellow-wort.[214]
Wraysbury Reservoir
Wraysbury Reservoir
Green tickY 205.6 hectares
(508 acres)
[215]
NO Staines-upon-Thames
51°27′36″N 0°31′34″W / 51.460°N 0.526°W / 51.460; -0.526 (Wraysbury Reservoir)
TQ 025 745
[215]
Ramsar,[108] SPA[109] Map Citation The reservoir has nationally important numbers of wintering cormorants, great crested grebe and shovelers. It also supports many gadwalls.[216]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b The area and grid reference are taken from the "Details" page for each site on the Natural England database.
  2. ^ The maps are provided by Natural England on the Magic Map website.
  3. ^ Citations are provided for each site by Natural England.
  4. ^ This site is partly in Hampshire
  5. ^ a b This site is partly in Berkshire
  6. ^ This site is partly in West Sussex
  7. ^ This site is partly in Greater London

References

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Sources

  • Ratcliffe, Derek, ed. (1977). A Nature Conservation Review. 2. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-21403-2.

External links

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