Ask a Ranger
Do you have a question about Yateley Common Country Park? Seen a plant or animal you can't identify?
Ask a ranger and we will try to help! We will aim to get back to you with an answer within 3 working days.
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55 questions so far
02/10/2014 03:52pmNick Cosgreave
Are there great crested newts around the A30 pond as I think we found one, can send pictures.
The Ranger replies
There are great crested newts in the ponds around Yateley Common and it is quite possible you may have seen one. You should be reminded though that these are protected under UK wildlife law and must not be disturbed in any way. Any photographs would be welcome and you can send them to email@example.com.
02/10/2014 03:52pmRoss Simmonds
Is responsible fungi foraging permitted on the Common? If so do you organise any events?
The Ranger replies
Hampshire County Council's Countryside Service has a Foraging policy which allows foraging of the four 'F's' - flowers, fruit, foliage and fungi. This is for personal use and not for resale or use in profit making ways. The only circumstances foraging would not be permitted would be if site bylaws applied with specific reference to foraging or if a particular species was protected under site designations. Personal foraging on Yateley Common is permitted.
We have run fungi foray events in the past, but have not had that much interest in them and so do not often provide such events.
02/10/2014 03:43pmCharles Weager
Problem is how can I add a photo?
I have found this fellow hiding among some bricks in my garden and I cannot identify him/her. What I cannot place is the colour and the fact that he has a broad snout. To me it doesn't look like a British Lizard. The toes are not webbed.
The garden is at GU17 0AT no 30 and backs immediately onto Yateley Country Park which is designated an European Site of Special Scientific Interest. We have a large pond in the garden and are hosts to Frogs, Toads, Newts and a Grass Snake. We have lizards in the garden and they are usually the common type. The pond is in the SW garden and shaded by trees, thelizard was found by the house approx 9m from the pond.
When I found him it did not move but after I had put the brick down he disappeared. SO I assume he was playing dead as a defensive mechanism.
Sorry about the quality of the photos but they were taken on a phone.
P.S. No Frog Spawn this year
The Ranger replies
Apologies for the delay in responding to your enquiry. Should you still like for us to look at the photos, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
On the Blackbushe airfield part of the park, across from blackbushe metals there is a device at the top of a pole, sort of reminiscent of a sputnik style space capsure. I assume something to do with birds but could you satisfy my curiosity?
The Senior Ranger Replies
Hello Simon. I think you are refering to the air quality measuring devices, these are used to monitor particulate release from the scap yard. I hope this helps.
14/04/2014 10:42amAndy Lowe
Is there any chance you could put up bigger signs about dogs being kept on a lead during the birds nesting period. I live on the un-adopted Flats road and see so many dogs running loose that I can only assume the owners don't know the rules. This particularly applies to the green and foot paths around the Gravel pit pond.
The Senior Ranger Says
This is a cultural problem and unfortunatley many people do not listen to signs. I should also point out that if walking on one of the Rights of Way there is no requirement to keep dogs on leads. Our main concern is that people do not let their dogs run all over the heath durring the bird breeding season disturbing the birds and lestening their chances of breeding successfully, if their dogs can walk along a path without running all thorugh the sensitive habitat it is not a major problem.
Many thanks for your concern.
25/03/2014 04:05pmRay Sharp
in the last few years the rangers have been putting on an Easter egg hunt at Wyndhams Pool.
Is there going to be a hunt this year?
The Senior Ranger replied
Yes we are going to be running this event again. I have passed your details to the ranger running the event and she should contact you.
17/03/2014 10:26amliz teo
Hi. Last night my family and I were driving across Yateley Common on Vigo Lane. An animal ran across the road in front of us, which is very very common there. However this animal was neither a deer or fox, and also not a badger - in fact, all four of us said it was like a hairy pig!!!! Had it just been one of us, I think we would have doubted ourselves, however, as there were 4 of us all seeing it, we are bemused as to what it could be. Our guess would be a wild boar.... however we have no idea if this is possible and if others have been sighted at all.
We would love to know!
The Senior Ranger replies.
It is always hard to answer these questions as without seeing the animal yourself we would just be guessing however wild boar are known to be living in the countryside not to far away. Other suggestions would as you say be muntjac dear or a badger. Without being there I just couldn't say. Animals are often creatures of habit so perhaps sitting and waiting with a camera could provide the evidence. that these animals have now spread into this area.
Sorry I couldn't answer this question more definitely. I shall keep an eye out for signs. Please could you advise exactly on Vigo land this was as we could have a scout about for other signs such as foot prints.
Thanks for your question.
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17/03/2014 12:35pmMarise Chivers
Why has our beautiful Common walk been devastated by so called conservationalists and now Health and Safety people ? So many trees have been bulldozed and bushes cleared. I thought that the common was to be enjoyed by everyone. I
The Ranger replied
Without specific details as to the location of that to which you refer it is hard to be specific, so i will speak generally about the management of the Common and heathland. Although Yateley Common is open country and there are rights of access to the land under two pieces of legislation (The Law of Property Act and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act) the land is in the main managed to provide good quality habitat for a wide range of species associated with heathlands. Yateley Common is in fact given some of the highest designations for conservation and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
All our staff are degree educated in biological or conservation based subjects and our work is undertaken as programmed management and is agreed in management plans in line with governments expectations as given by Natural England.
We have undertaken some high intensity scrub management on the area of the Common near to the airport. This management which has involved the laying of trees is aimed at creating very dense thickets of regrowth that will provide excellent cover for scrubland birds such as the nightingale which suffer ever increasing pressures from disturbance and predation. Such management is necessary now as the amount of such habitats has decreased by around 90% over the last 100years as traditional management through dependance of man on their local environment has disappeared.
When work such as this has just taken place it can look untidy until regrowth occurs but it is invaluable work which benefits a wide range of species. If you would like more information regarding a specific location please contact us at our office for a more in depth chat or look out for our guided walks.
I have provided links to information regarding nightingales and heathland management should you wish to learn more about the subjects.
17/03/2014 12:34pmChris larby
I've noticed that a lot of tree felling work is being undertaken in the area I know as Hawley Woods/Yateley common that appears to be very destructive. There a several large piles of logs, is this purely f
The Senior Ranger replied
Your message unfortunately does not seem complete and I am unsure of the exact area to which you refer and not all of the Common is managed by us. Often tree felling can be seen as destructive but is in fact being undertaken as part of strategic management aimed at improving habitat for rare species. Many rare species are associated with the open heath habitats of the Common which have slowly been encroached by the pine and birch. Left unchecked this would eventually lead to the Common becoming a woodland and many threatened species would be lost from the area.
17/03/2014 12:37pmMary Keatley
Please could you let me know if further work will be carried out along The Flats at the back of my house (I live at 38 Baileys Close). I appreciate that at the moment everywhere is muddy but I have a large mound of soil (mud)left by the digger on Tuesday right at the back of my property and as I use this exit to take my grandchildren for a walk across the common it is/will cause a few problems with access. Many thanks.
The Senior Ranger replies
We do intend to improve the area of the Flats further as and when priorities, time and resources allow. This winter has obviously made many areas hard to treverse and hopefully a dry spell will imporve things for you.
Review Ref. 486933