Corporate report

Surrey's National Nature Reserves

Published 2 August 2014

Applies to England

Ashtead Common

The site is a wooded common and contains woodland, areas dominated by bracken, scrub grassland, semi-improved neutral grassland and various aquatic habitats.

Main habitats: wood pasture

Area: 181 ha

Management: Ashtead Common is owned and managed by the Corporation of London.

Further information about Ashtead Common NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the City of London website.


City of London Corporation
Ashtead Estate Office
Woodfield Road
KT21 2DU

City of London contact form
Telephone: 01372 279083
Emergency telephone: 01372 279488​

Chobham Common

The NNR is an extensive open area of lowland heath.

Main habitats: lowland heath

Management: Chobam Common is owned by the Surrey County Council and managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Chobham Common webpage.


Countryside ranger: 01276 858013


Thursley NNR is one of the largest remaining fragments of a once more extensive area of heathland in Surrey.

Main habitats: lowland heath, woodland

Area: 325 ha

Features of interest

Thursley NNR holds extensive areas of open dry heathland, peat bogs, pine and deciduous woodlands. 20 species of dragonflies and damselflies live around the open ponds and ditches of the reserve. The areas of open water also support the bog raft spider.

In very wet areas, the sphagnum mosses that form the peat bog can be found. Early marsh orchids, bog asphodels, heath milkwort, cotton grass, sedges and rushes complete the rich flora.

The rare marsh clubmoss can be often seen on bare exposed peat alongside 3 different species of the carniverous plant, sundew

Birds include Dartford warblers, stone chats, long-tailed tits, gold crests, red starts, white throats and wheatears.

From The Moat car park, the Heath Trail guides visitors through the main features of the reserve’s landscapes and gives the chance to see some of the very special wildlife. The trail is approximately 3.6 kilometres (2.25 miles) in length. Allow at least 2 hours.

The trail also takes in parts of the extensive boardwalk network. With over 1.3 kilometres of boarding it gives access to otherwise inaccessible wetter parts of the reserve, and unrivalled views of the bog habitats and their rare wildlife. The boardwalk has sloped ramps for easier access with push chairs and buggies. Viewing platforms are also to be found here.

Thursley is one of the best sites for dragonflies in the country. The hour long Dragonfly Nature Trail has a boardwalk, viewing areas and interpretation panels, including 3D etched panels for the visually impaired. The centrepiece of the walk is an eye-catching 1.2 x 1.6m sculpture of a dragonfly landing on a former electricity pylon.

There are several bridleways and foot paths which criss-cross the reserve. Some are of firm sand, others of soft sand. There are a few steep climbs.

Parts of the reserve have previously been used for military training. Don’t touch any suspicious objects but to report them to the police.

There is an information leaflet for this reserve.


The nearest train stations are at Milford, Haslemere and Witley.

A regular bus service runs from Godalming to Elstead.

The reserve is located to the south of Guildford in Surrey, lying between the villages of Elstead and Thursley.

Car parks are available south of Elstead on the Thursley Road (The Moat) and on the recreation ground in Thursley village.

The Greensand Way, a long distance trail, runs very close to the NNR.


As part of the regular management of the reserve, volunteer groups carry out important tasks such as scrub control, heather mowing and burning, as well as maintaining the access infrastructure.

These groups meet on a regular basis, with tasks held most weeks and one Sunday a month.

If you are interested in helping, contact site staff on 01428 685675 or email:


Telephone: 01428 685675