Plants and animals at Headley Heath

Sand lizard

Headley Heath is home to a rich variety of wildlife, both flora and fauna. What will you spot on a visit to us?


Many mammals live secretly on Headley and at quieter times you may be able to spot roe deer and badgers near the wooded slopes. There are also small mammals like shrews, voles and wood mice.

Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians live on the heath and in and around our ponds. Adders, grass snakes, slow-worms, lizards, frogs, toads and smooth, palmate and great-crested newts.


From big to small you can spot over 25 different butterfly species here - white admiral, purple emperor and purple hairstreak in our woodland; small copper and gatekeeper on our heathland; silver-spotted skipper, brown argus and green hairstreak on our downland and many, many more.


Ling, bell heather and yellow gorse dominate the heathland. Come spring, the air is filled with the sweet, coconut scent of the gorse.

Chalk downland

More than 20 different plant species can grow in a square metre on the downland. You can find potentillas, rock rose, wild thyme, and orchids such as the common-spotted orchid.


Autumn is the time to see our fungi and more than 60 species have been found at Headley. Remember that some fungi are poisonous and it’s best to look and not touch.