Castle Bottom National Nature Reserve
Castle Bottom National Nature Reserve is a small lowland site containing one of the most important valley mires in southern England, with associated heathland and woodland habitats.
The reserve is a designated Special Protection Area (SPA), which are sites of European Importance for their bird populations, and heathland birds.
The site can be enjoyed by visitors via the network of footpaths which cross the site. Access is for walkers only and it is important that dogs are kept on a lead during the breeding bird season from March until September and/or when cattle are grazing the site.
The site has only one public right of way leading from the ‘middle gate’ north towards the site of the old cottages. We have created a number of permissive paths running across the site, which link up with existing footpaths and bridleways outside the boundary of the reserve. Please keep to these footpaths so that the important habitats and their associated species are not disturbed.
Due to the sensitive and very wet nature of the site there are no facilities for horse riding or cycling on the site itself. There is however a permissive bridleway running along the eastern edge of the County Council holdings, just outside the fence line and another that joins it within Forestry Commission land running adjacent to the southern boundary of the site. It is thus possible to ride from Yateley Common to Coopers Hill. Whilst these bridleways are outside of the boundary, they run along the high ground adjacent to the reserve, providing wonderful views across the site.
One car space on small verge adjacent to the main gate. Please do not park in front of the gate, as access needed at all times. Parking also at Blackbushe Airport or at Yateley Common car parks and walk to the site via the footpath that runs along the back of the airfield.
Photo Josie Hewitt