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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.

Wildlife watching

Yellowhammer perched on a song post ©

Yellowhammer perched on a song post

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.

Lavington Plantation

Stonechat calling from gorse bush - "squeak chack chack"! ©

Stonechat calling from gorse bush - "squeak chack chack"!

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...

Look out for the insectivorous sundew  © National Trust

Look out for the insectivorous sundew

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. 


Woolbeding countryside is quietly tucked away in the tranquil Rother Valley. With its wide horizons and intimate secluded places, this huge estate has an extraordinary blend of habitats.


Get your walking boots muddy with one of our trails

There are some wonderful walks around this secluded part of Sussex. Stomp across the open heathland or explore Merlin’s Wood on the edge of the Common; an alluring, twisted tunnel of rhododendron.

If you see...

Heathland is a very fragile habitat

We're always interested in anything special that our visitors may spot whilst enjoying the Common.  It's also a very fragile habitat so if you need to report anything please call the Ranger on 01730 816638.