Things to do at Ludshott Common
The heathland at Ludshott Common dates back 5,000 years and contains some of the few remaining areas of lowland heath in Europe. Discover some of the birdlife and wildlife you can see here, as well as similar heathlands and woodlands you can visit nearby.
Wildlife on Ludshott Common
Heathland wildlife living across Ludshott Common includes the silver-studded blue butterfly, green tiger beetle and sand lizard. Birdlife includes the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark.
These species have specific habitat requirements – a mix of tall bushy heather, scattered trees, clumps of gorse and bare sandy patches.
Managing the habitat
In order for these species to survive, the heath is managed so that it provides the necessary mosaic of habitat.
Some woodland is retained to provide a habitat for birds like the redstart, wood warbler and goshawk. Sadly, the reptile population was destroyed by fire in 1980, but sand lizards were re-introduced to a small area in 1993 and are now thriving.
Although a much smaller area at 16 hectares, Bramshott Chase is similar to Ludshott Common, as it's a mixture of heathland and secondary woodland.
Where to find Bramshott Chase
Lying half a mile to the north-west of Ludshott, the Chase forms part of Bramshott Common, which is a much larger area of heathland and scrub owned and managed by the Ministry of Defence.
It contributes an additional area of habitat supporting the same bird species as Ludshott.
Grazing cattle on the chase
Common rights still apply to the chase and there is periodic grazing by cattle owned by one of the commoners. This continues a long tradition and helps keep the site in a favourable condition for a number of heathland species.
The grazing also helps reduce the need for mechanical management.
Gentle's Copse woodland
An ancient woodland that dates back to medieval times, Gentle’s Copse is comprised of coppiced sessile oaks, a tree that is rare in the south of the country. In the past, its wood was used for fuel and to make charcoal for the iron industry.
You can still see a stone-faced boundary bank that once prevented the commoners’ animals from straying into the copse.
The three ponds at Waggoners Wells in East Hampshire are popular as a cool shady retreat in summer and for the spectacular yellows and golds of the beech trees in autumn.
The ponds are thought to have been created in the 17th century as hammer ponds for the iron industry. The old trees around it are also important for lichens – 90 different types have been found here.
Near the ford is a memorial stone to Robert Hunter, one of the founders of the National Trust. He was involved with the acquisition of Ludshott Common in 1908, and Waggoners Wells was purchased in 1919 in his memory.
Under-control dogs are welcome at Ludshott Common. Find out more about visiting with your four-legged friend, including details of the Canine Code.
Find out more about the heathland restoration project on Ludshott Common and answers to frequently asked questions.
Find out where you can go mountain biking at Black Down, Woolbeding Common, Ludshott Common and Hindhead Common and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, while protecting these habitats.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.