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A rare pocket of openness amongst plantation woodland
Lavington Common is a rare survivor of an open landscape that once stretched across the Weald. Its sandy soil leads up to the chalk escarpment on the South Downs, creating this renowned lowland heath, rich in lichens and bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).
Heathers flourish here providing shelter and breeding grounds for reptiles and heathland insects such as the Green Tiger Beetle.
Lavington Common is a beautiful, quiet place for discovering all sorts of heathland wildlife. The best times of day to watch for wildlife are early mornings and evenings. Find a secluded place and just wait and watch to see what passes you by. It helps if you can use a good pair of binoculars. Watch out for tree pipits, woodlarks, and stonechats. Listen out for the quick movement of lizards along path edges.
Across the road is the old plantation site. This has been cleared over the years creating more heathland and links with the common and other heaths in the area. Sand lizards have already made this their home and there are growing populations of woodlark, nightjar, tree pipits and stonechats.
A very special site...
The site has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wonderful heathland, with insectivorous sundews, adders and common lizards amongst the thick heath vegetation. The paths are flat and easy walking but watch out for the ditches and hollows which fill with water and create areas of wet heath. This is where cotton grass and cross-leaved heather can be found growing.