Thursley Common Circular Walk from Elstead

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The brackish waters of Thursley Common bog are extremely acidic (with a pH as low as 3 in places for the scientifically minded). The bog and its adjacent areas of woodland and lowland heath are regarded as nationally important for their bird, reptile and invertebrate populations.

Highlights include:

birds: woodlark, Dartford warbler, nightjar, stonechat, whinchat, curlew, woodcock, redstart, hawfinch, tawny owl, hobby and all three British woodpecker species;

reptiles: the nationally rare sand lizard and smooth snake;

butterflies: silver-studded blue, white-letter hairstreak, purple emperor, grayling;

a large population of dragonflies and damselflies including the nationally rare white-faced dragonfly;

twelve species of grasshoppers and crickets including the nationally rare large marsh grasshopper;

bog plants: sundew, bog asphodel, marsh orchid.

I find the little sundew plants quite fascinating. They have sticky 'jaws' like miniature Venus fly trap plants which can be enticed to close by feeding the plant a small, dead fly!

For the past few years there has also been a great grey shrike over-wintering on the common.

Wildlife aside, the common can be quite atmospheric, especially at dusk.

This route was revised slightly in June 2020 owing to a wildfire which destroyed the boardwalks. Evidence of this fire will be seen around waymarks 7 & 8 for some time to come.

England - South England - Surrey - Surrey Hills


Birds, Food Shop, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
10/29/2023 - Patricia Daw

28/10/23 We did this walk parking near The Woolpack in Elstead. It is a fairly flat walk with only two minor inclines. If there had been constant rain for say a week or more parts of the route through Thursley Common would be difficult to negotiate but on the whole it was easy walk that could be done most of the year round - unless, as I say, there has been a spate of heavy downfalls.

11/14/2021 - Stephen Harris

Walked 14.11.2021. Directions and photographs still current. A great little walk and interest throughout. Particularly nice in November, drizzly day but such lovely contrast as we move into late Autumn. The paths across Thursley Common are being repaired so they do not flood as much. A lovely walk, highly recommended for a gentle stroll out on a Sunday!

8/20/2021 - andy hasted

Done on 17th August. Directions good. The burnt bit on Thursley common is rejuvenating. Not the most interesting walk but pleasant enough. We started by parking at Thursley Church and picked up the route on the common which added about 1.5 miles. A compass was handy as there are so many diverging paths which are not on the map. A nice cafe in Elstead is recommended.

1/22/2021 - Stephen Harris

Walked 22.01.21. This is a lovely walk, very easy and with great views at the start and throughout. Directions are spot on and still up to date. The area is very wet at this time so boots are advised in Winter / after heavy rain. It may be easier and better to park in Stacey Farm Lane as we did, then walk back to waypoint 2. Well written, great walk, spot on! 10/10.

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