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Shortheath Common

Shortheath Common

Shortheath Common in the east of the county is an interesting and diverse site covering 58 hectares (143 acres).

Located north east of the village of Oakhanger, this ancient common land has been awarded special conservation status in recognition of the habitats it encompasses.

Opportunities for recreation at Shortheath include walking, jogging and angling, and horse riders may enjoy views across the Common from the bridleways at the western and northern edges of the site. There is also huge scope for educational studies and activities focusing on the heath, woodland, grassland, pond and bog communities.

Volunteer work parties

Join us for a volunteer work party at Shortheath Common and help to protect the rare and important habitats found at the site whilst getting fit and meeting members of your local community!  

We will be removing young birch trees that are growing over areas of heathland, which will benefit rare species including birds such as the nightjar, as well as many species of insect. No experience is necessary and tools, tuition and refreshments will be provided, although you may wish to bring some water with you to drink throughout the sessions. The work parties are open to everyone aged 7 and over, although volunteers aged 17 or under should be accompanied and supervised by an adult please. Please wear warm, waterproof clothes and sensible shoes. Meet in the pond car park for a 10am start. We will finish around 1pm, although if you need to leave earlier you can just let us know on the day.

For more details please contact Susanne on 02392 476411or email

The dates for the work parties are:

  • Saturday 12 January 2013, 10am to 1pm
  • Wednesday 20 February 2013, 10am to 1pm

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please do not disturb

Rare ground-nesting birds such as Woodlark and Nightjar are nesting at Shortheath Common. These birds migrate from as far away as South Africa to breed on our heathlands between March and the end of July each year.

These birds are very vulnerable to disturbance, particularly by dogs. When disturbed, the birds fly away from their nests, using up vital energy resources and leaving their young vulnerable to predation by birds, foxes and snakes.

Please help to protect these very beautiful but sadly increasingly rare birds by keeping to paths when visiting the site, and ensuring that your canine friends do the same! Thank you very much for your co-operation!



  • tel 023 9247 6411

Dogs at Shortheath Common

It is a legal requirement under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that all dogs are kept on a short, fixed lead of no more than 2 metres in length on Open Access land between 1 March and 31 July.

As a registered Common, Shortheath is covered by this legislation.