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Do you have a question about Yateley Common Country Park? Seen a plant or animal you can't identify?
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34 questions so far
08/05/2013 05:03pmBeth Eccles
Would like to comment on the road up to Heathland Cemetry. In the past two years youngsters have been building a mountain bike play area. I have never minded this as I would probably have enjoyed the same years ago. On several occasions I have asked the boys, in a nice way, if the could take their litter home and sometimes they do. However, this morning the area is a disgrace with an old fridge to sit on, plus other rubbish. The area itself is an accident waiting to happen, with all the digging out etc. If this should occur the council could be held liable for allowing the biking to take place. I'm not a killjoy, but I think the time has come for the area to be cordoned off and no more biking to be allowed.
A Ranger replies
Thanks for your comments. The attitude we take is similar to yours, in that if they keep the area clean and do not go crazy we tolerate it. As you have pointed out it has become a real mess. We have moved the fridge and other larger items and will be litter picking the area soon and will be destroying the jumps.
22/04/2013 09:02amCharlotte Sheringham
Having moved stables, I am unfamiliar with Hawley Common. Please could you advise me of the bridle paths available for me to ride, if I access via Woodlands Walk?
A ranger replies
Although we are sites based, we do not manage this area of land. It is managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The Rights of Way are serviced by Hampshire County Council, but in this location by another team. In the first instance, I would suggest you use the interactive mapping tool "'Mapping Hampshire's countryside'. This will allow you to search using your postcode and the available Rights of Way will be shown. Bridleways are shown in green. Alternatively you could telephone 0845 603 5636 and someone from the Rights of Way team should be able to assist you
23/04/2013 10:28amLouise Greenwood
On Sunday 26th May we are organising a Wildlife Day to take place on Fleet Pond. The idea is to encourage the public to take an interest in their local wildlife, and hopefully to learn to identify some new species with the aid of experts/people with knowledge in a particular area to help them.
We are planning for the event to be open to the public from 10am until 2pm for several stalls from local organisations and to have a number of set times for guided walks. We would love it if you could bring a stall to promote Hampshire County Council Ranger service and your local sites.
If you would be interested in taking part and having a stall then please let me know and I would be happy to talk through any ideas you may have.
A Ranger replies
Thank you for the invitation to your event, but unfortunately no-one is free to attend that weekend. We are currently short staffed due to a ranger being on maternity leave and any requests for our time are having to be prioritised accordingly. Should you run the event in future years, please do bear us in mind as, dependant on our availability, it is the sort of event we would wish to be involved in. Thanks for your consideration.
06/03/2013 08:57amC. HODGES
I notice that there have been quite a few trees felled in the common along Vigo Lane. What reason was this for?
A ranger replies
This area of Yateley Common has been cleared, as part of a grant scheme with Natural England, to restore the land to heathland. The open aspect of the land benefits the plants and animals found on Yateley Common.
The Yateley Common you see today looks very different to how it would have looked years ago and large areas of trees have developed quickly over the last 50 years. Yateley Common is an historic landscape dating back several thousands of years when local tribes cleared and grazed the land. In order to preserve the important heathland habitat we regularly have to remove large areas of scrub and trees which would otherwise shade out the valuable heathland wildlife. As well as working to preserve the heathland, we also aim to maintain a variety of habitats and vegetation structures such as woodland, scrub, scattered trees and grassland. This enables a wide diversity of wildlife to survive and is important for species that use more than one habitat during their lifecycle or daily activities. Some species are especially reliant upon the boundaries between habitat types.
Yateley Common has evolved as land managed by man over millennia, managed using techniques which have now all but ceased. The 'creation' of heathland has led to it becoming a rare and internationally protected habitat. If left unmanaged, heathland would eventually revert back to a woodland landscape and much of the now associated plants and wildlife would disappear.
10/01/2013 12:06pmDory Thompson
Hi, wandering around the common today with my camera I noticed a lot of silver birch trees had been snapped over, three or four feet up from the ground.
There were too many of them to be anything other than deliberate and I was wondering if you could tell me why this was done?
Also, if the aim is to reduce the number of trees, do they not just grow back?
A ranger replies
If you are referring to trees near the airport area of the Common, these have been cut as part of a management scheme for the benefit of nightingales. These birds nest low to the ground in thick scrub but also need secluded bare ground area that for foraging that are protected by thick low level brush which gives protection from predators.
The British Ornithology website explains more.
21/08/2012 09:21amBrian Osborne
Re the tweet about 19c track, where is it? I pressume it is not the hollow way that goes from the A30 across the field an joins up with Stoud Lane.
A ranger replies
This years archaeological dig took place in the valley running south of Hospital Pond (the pond as you come off Cricket Hill Lane to enter Wyndham's Pool Car Park). Between the 10th and 19th August 2012 volunteers helped local archaeologist Carol White with an investigation to try and locate a Mesolithic Burnt Mound within the valley, during this investigation part of a buried 19th Century track was temporarily excavated. The track itself which runs away from Cricket Hill Lane, almost parallel with an existing track appears on maps from the 1800s but had disappeared by the early 1900s, as this track was not the focus of the investigation and would undoubtedly have disturbed any Mesolithic remnants the site was catalogued and then re-filled and the investigation continued elsewhere in the valley. More information about the results of this years archaeological investigation will be put on our website in due course.
16/08/2012 11:53amTerry Austin
Are we able to bring a dog to the Yateley Country Park (off a lead)? If so, where is the best place to park and which walks would you recommend?
A Ranger replies
Dogs are welcome at Yateley Common Country Park however we do request that all dog owners keep close control of their dogs and follow this simple guidance
- Yateley Common Country Park is home to lots of wildlife, including Adders. To reduce the risk of your dog getting injured, always keep it nearby and in sight. Stay calm and phone the vet immediately if it’s bitten.
- Please do not let your dog approach or chase wildlife or grazing animals; it can cause serious injury or stress, and your dog can get lost or run over. Use a lead if necessary.
- Please keep your dog on the paths and if possible on the lead from 1 March to 31 July. This is when many birds nest on or near the ground, even in short vegetation. Even friendly dogs will scare birds away from their nests – the chicks will starve or get eaten by predators.
- Please don’t let your dog approach other people uninvited, especially children, horse riders and picnickers. Children may be frightened and horses spooked even by friendly dogs.
- Clean up after your dog around the car parks, picnic areas and entrances – bag it and take it home. Away from these areas, it’s OK to just flick it off the path.
- To ensure your dog returns home safely, make sure it always wears a collar bearing your name, address and mobile phone number.
- We have a Downloadable guide to a safe and enjoyable visit to Yateley Common Country Park called Paws on the Common available on our recreation page.
There are three main car parks on site
- Wyndham's Pool Car Park off Cricket Hill Lane
- Stroud Pool Car Park, off the A30 (first park entrance when travelling East between The Ely pub and Blackwater)
- Gravel Pit Car Park, off the A30 (Second park entrance when travelling East between The Ely pub and Blackwater)
All three Car Parks allow visitors easy access to a variety of habitats including heathland, woodlands and ponds, and all three are very popular with dog walkers. A map of the site is available for download or can be picked up in local libraries and we also have two downloadable routes of varying lengths that are worth looking at. For a first time visitor to the site I recommend exploring the area around Wyndham's Pool Car Park from where it is possible to explore the beauty of Yateley Common and create a circular walk of any length to suit your needs. The size and nature of the Common means that it is quite possible to enjoy longer dog walks without having to cross any of the main roads that surround the Common. Please be aware that the tracks across the common are not made up pathways and conditions may vary depending on the weather.
08/08/2012 11:58amjulie sergeant
Is camping allowed on Yateley Common?
A Ranger replies
Camping is not permitted on Yateley Common Country Park. The site is protected as a Special Protection Area under European law due to the important landscape which is home to rare and protected species and it is against the law to wilfully disturb these species. We consider camping and all activities relating to camping a form of disturbance and do not allow it anywhere on the Common.
18/07/2012 09:24amJill Pretorius
When sitting in traffic queues on Vigo Lane, waiting to turn onto Cricket Hill Lane, I notice the silver birches all look the same size and are presumably the same age, which led me to wonder: how old are they, and what was there before the silver birches? Did the area look very different 100 years / 200 years ago?
A Ranger replies
The Yateley Common you see today looks very different to how it would have looked years ago and large areas of trees have developed quickly over the last 50 years . However, Yateley Common is an historic landscape dating back several thousands of years when local tribes cleared and grazed the land. As the soils were of poor quality, they became exhausted very quickly and by the time of the Norman Conquest, areas of heath such as Yateley Common were considered 'waste of the manor', a term relating to common land. Tenants of the waste land were granted privileges, now known as common rights, such as to graze animals, collect firewood and dig gravel.
Yateley Common has evolved as land managed by man over millennia, managed using techniques which have now all but ceased. The 'creation' of heathland has led to it becoming a rare and internationally protected habitat. If left unmanaged, heathland would eventually revert back to a woodland landscape and much of the now associated plants and wildlife would disappear. Modern heathland management techniques try to emulate historical land management, but inevitably our present day methods can never truly achieve the same results as that of the ancient commoners.
The importance of Yateley's heathland habitat was recognised in 1978 when it was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Since then it has more recently been designated part of the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area to protect it's populations of three specific birds; Dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar.
What was once 'manorial waste land' has now become an internationally important habitat and a wonderful local facility for the residents of Yateley and the surrounds to enjoy. Yateley itself has seen many changes over time and many aspects of life have changed over the last few centuries, but it is hoped that we can continue to provide an interesting and wildlife rich place for people to enjoy.
04/07/2012 02:24pmFee Taylor
Some friends and I are hoping to get together each week with our toddlers to explore the woodland and I was wondering if you could recommend an area of the common it might be best for our little explorers to start playing/exploring in terms of location? They're aged between 18 months and 3 years.
A Ranger replies
With children of such a young age I would suggest that you keep them to areas surrounding the car parks and or main tracks. I would recommend that children of such a young age are well supervised while visiting. Yateley Common is a well used common with many horse riders, mountain bikers and dog walkers all legitimately using the site.
I would avoid letting such young children explore the open heath to freely and be aware of the fact that adders are a common animal to be found on the Common.
Also be aware that despite our best efforts, there are objects lying around that could be dangerous, these are not only from present day littering and fly tipping but from historical incidents also.
A risk assessment for any group under our supervision would point out the following
- Adders - a brown or grey snake with a diamond pattern - do not turn over bits of tin, carpet or rubber you may find.
- Litter - glass bottle are unfortunately often discarded, be aware of broken glass.
- Horse riders - telling your children to step aside for riders and being quiet while they pass is advisable. Dog
- s - we always tell children never to touch strange dogs - parents can obviously manage this on a case by case basis. Dog mess can be a problem.
- Cyclists - as with riders the best thing is to step aside.
- Water - there are several ponds to be aware of.
- Insects - there are many biting and stinging insects to be found on the common, wear repellent and be aware of allergies.
Although a fabulous place to visit, Yateley Common is not a typical Country Park but is a wild place. This fact is what makes it so special and I hope that my words have not discouraged you. With the right care your children can enjoy and learn much from the Common.
There are maps and pre planned walks available for download from the website.
Review Ref. 486933