Wildlife

Our special place for wildlife

Frensham Little Pond, and its neighboring common, is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife and the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England (SSSI), and a Special Protection Area (SPA).

Catch up with our wildlife news

Keep an eye on our terns on their new rafts © Tim Mockridge

Following the success of last year’s new tern nesting raft, a second raft has been installed on the pond.

The raft was kindly funded by the Haslemere Natural History Society.

Tell us what you've seen

Email us with your sightings © National Trust

We’d love to know if you’ve spotted anything interesting on your visit. Why not drop us an email with your sightings or join in with us on Facebook?

Protect our ground-nesting birds

Please keep you dogs under control - March to September © John Millar

Walking your dog is a lovely past-time. If you’re out on the heath, from March to the end of September, please help protect our special ground-nesting birds by keeping your four legged friend under close control and out of the heather.

Help us look after all our wildlife

Fire serverely damaged our heathland in 2010 © National Trust

During the dry weather our heathland is at great risk from fire. Please leave your barbecues at home and take care if smoking. Sadly, in July 2010 a fire burnt on the heath for ten days destroying 148 acres heathland and its residents too.

On the heathland - tuneful birds

Look out for the linnet and hear its melodious song © northeastwildife.co.uk

Look out for the linnet and hear its melodious song

You should be able spot the linnet, which can be heard twittering throughout the summer months and the tree pipit.

The tree pipit is strikingly visible from mid-April when the male flies up steeply from a tree and parachutes down with its wings raised and tail spread. It also sings a song of far reaching repeated notes.

Although these are some of our more common birds, they’re still at risk due to their declining habitat.

On the heathland - rarer birds

Rare nightjars nest on the common © Sam Bayley

Rare nightjars nest on the common

Rare ground-nesting birds such as the woodlark and the nightjar breed on the common, as well as the stonechat and the redstart. On a warm summer’s evening (May to September) you may be lucky to hear the distinctive churring song of a nightjar.

The heathland also supports some rare winter visitors, the hen harrier and the great grey shrike.
 

On the pond - water birds

Our pond is home for several pairs of greylag geese  © NTPL/David Levenson

Our pond is home for several pairs of greylag geese

Our pond is home to many common breeding birds, such as the great crested grebe. It’s also important locally for wintering wildfowl - moorhens and mallards ducks as well as several pairs of greylag geese.

The reedbeds are used by reed warblers and water rails for breeding, and bitterns regularly spend the winter here too.

Ospreys can also be seen for a brief two weeks in March.

Spotlight on a few of our mammals

Bank voles live secretly at Frensham

Bank voles live secretly at Frensham

A wide range of mammals live secretly on the common, including badgers, rabbits, roe deer, foxes and, the less welcome mink which preys on young birds. Smaller bank voles and yellow-necked mice can be found too.

A recent outline survey of bats has revealed the possible presence of nine species at Frensham. This Includes the nathusius' pipistrelle and the daubenton, which are nationally scarce.

Butterflies and insects

A mating pair of silver-studded blue butterflies © Bob Haycock

Twenty-five species of butterflies have been recorded on the common, including the silver-studded blue and grayling. And 20 species of dragonfly and damselfly, including the hairy dragonfly and the downy emerald have been seen.

Reptiles - snakes and lizards

Reptiles emerge to bask in the warm sun in late May © Tim Mockridge

Frensham Common is one of only two sites in Surrey where you can find all six species of our native reptiles. These are the rare smooth snake, grass snake, adder, sand lizard, common lizard and the slow-worm.

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