Castle Bottom

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Do you have a question about Castle Bottom? 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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10 questions so far


10/02/2015 02:19pm

paul blanchard

is there an electronic version of a map available showing the permissive paths through the Castle Bottom site?

The Ranger replies

All Rights of Way in Hampshire are mapped and can be found online at You can use this interactive map to find a location by post code; in the case of Castle Bottom this would be RG27 0QA (Cooper's Hill). This online map uses Ordnance Survey information and all tracks are detailed. I trust this answers your question.




11/12/2014 01:37pm

lisa keen

Hello are you able to tell me where the highland cattle herd will be grazing on 21 December 2014? Or let me know who would know? My mum adores highland cattle and would love to look at them. Thank you

The Ranger replies

Highland cattle have not grazed Castle Bottom for two seasons now and unfotunately it is unlikely that they will be back. The availibility of cattle from 3rd party graziers is increasingly difficult to find and as such, we have been grazing with just New Forest ponies. I am unaware of any other Highland cattle grazing herds in this part of the county. Regards.



24/11/2014 09:40am

Mrs Tracy Budge


We have two Highlands heifers coming up to 6 years old. They are pets on our land, and as much as we love them we think it may be time to find them another home as we are struggling with their grazing.

If you are interested in the cows or can offer us any advice, we would very much appreciate talking to you.

Kind Regards

Tracy Budge

The Ranger Replies

Tracy, perhaps you could email us direct at and we could have a chat.

Many thanks.



24/11/2014 09:39am

Harriet Wigmore-Welsh

Do you take on students for work experience I'm looking for something in January.

The Ranger Replies

Thank you for your question. We do take placement students, but we need to know a little more about what you are doing, how a placement with us might help and what your interests are. Perhaps you could email us direct at and we could arrange for you to come in for a chat.



06/10/2014 09:37am

david robins

Hi, I wish to visit the reserve,

can you please advise if there is off road parking from the Cooper's Hill road? or is there better public parking on the Blackbush airport site, if so where?

The Ranger replies

There is off road parking at Coopers Hill for 2-3 cars, but if busy, we request that you do not block the gate in case we need emergency access. You can park at the Red Cross Centre off Monteagle Lane (GU46 6LU) and by walking south up Bridleway 43, at the barrier bearing west through the trees onto Bridleway 44 , you will reach Castle Bottom.

Enjoy your visit.



18/11/2013 10:28am

Jacqui copp

Is it true that the cattle grazing is going to be extended to the part of yateley common that backs onto Tudor drive?

A Ranger replies

A favoured management technique for managing heathlands is grazing! We have been undertaking a consultation since 2011 regarding the possible low level conservation grazing of parts of Yateley Common. In the proposal as it stands grazing would take place in the heath area between Cricket Hill and Tudor Drive but would be restricted east of the bridleway behind Tudor Drive.

No final decision has been made on this project and should this project move further there will be more consultation that takes place giving time for the public to ask questions and raise concerns.



26/03/2012 09:08am

Ivana Wilson

Hi, are dogs allowed off the lead? Is it okay to have a picnic?

A Ranger replies

We ask all visitors to the Castle Bottom to keep their dogs on leads during the bird nesting season 1st February -31st August. Castle Bottom Nature Reserve is home to important ground (or near ground) nesting birds which are easily disturbed, these include the Nightjar, Dartford Warbler and Woodlark.

We also ask visitors to keep their dogs on leads when there is cattle grazing on the site -on site signage will indicate when there are grazing animals present. Both the cows and ponies that graze on Castle Bottom are easily worried by dogs.

It is fine for visitors to picnic on site, all we ask is that visitors please take their rubbish home with them, and leave the countryside tidy. Please do not leave food for the cows or ponies, there is plenty of food available for them on site



23/02/2012 06:14am


Hi, I am interested in visiting this reserve to photograph the Dartford Warblers,how big is the reserve,and were is the best place to find them there ?

A Ranger replies

Castle Bottom National Nature Reserve is approximately 30 hectares and can be accessed by car from Coopers Hill (B3016) or on foot from Yateley Common (parking available here). The site is part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) for it's bird life, one of those protected species being Dartford Warbler. The SPA provides ideal habitat for these birds to thrive in and they can be found across most of the SPA. Due to the secretive and sensitive nature of the Dartford Warbler, we don't like to provide specific locations of birds, but be assured that they can be found across the heathland areas from Yateley Common to Castle Bottom. They are often tricky to see, but you may very well hear their 'scratchy' song from the top of a gorse bush.



16/11/2011 02:25pm

peter philbey

Are there any cattle/horses on site at present? Love the place but have been attacked there

Castle Bottom replies

We have recently had the animals removed and they shall not be back until April-may time. The cattle and ponies we use are all placid animals and a wave of the hand and a yell is enough to send them running. Sometimes the ponies can be inquisitive but they are mischievous rather than malicious.

We have a lookering programme you could join, lookers are people that check on the welfare of grazing animals, we give training and it would give you more confidence around the animals, allowing you to enjoy the site all year round.



31/10/2011 04:02pm


hiya. i just wondered when the cattle were coming off this winter? thanks.

A Ranger replies

The Grazier that the cattle belong to will be collecting the cows on Thursday 10 November (hopefully before the chance of any snowfall adds difficulties to the transportation), and will be taken to another local site which will have more winter grazing, so that they can stay well fed in the cold conditions. We hope that cattle will return to the site around March/April next year.

If you would like any further information relating to the grazing herd at Castle Bottom, please feel free to contact us directly. Alternatively, you can visit our regularly updated Castle Bottom Lookers Blog, which is used by Site Staff and Volunteer Cattle Lookers to record all sightings and health checks of the cattle, as well as posting other relevant updates.


Review Ref. 490726


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