Bramshill Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Forestry Commission extends to some 650 hectares and forms part of the wider Thames Basin Heaths.
This nationally important site is notified in part for its shallow mildly acidic ponds and associated mires which in turn support many interesting freshwater species including Great Crested Newts Triturus cristatus, the rare aquatic fern Pillwort Pilularia globulifera, the enigmatic Marsh Clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata, and a rich assemblage of dragonflies and damselflies.
The site has undergone an amazing transformation in the wake mineral extraction which ceased in the early 1990s; becoming a rich tapestry of lowland heathland, pond complex and other wetland habitats. The site is not without its issues, primarily the lack of conservation grazing which would help maintain open conditions. This requires a long-term management plan to maintain and create bare earth and open pond habitats which these species require; balanced against the sites continued use as a working forest and popular destination for informal recreation.
We have been able to help key individuals and organisations capture their data and evaluate the development of the site in response to previous management interventions. This should help us to prepare a robust management strategy to safeguard the site in the future.
Accessibility: Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site. It is up to you to check whether you require permission to visit and access the ponds on a site.
Site owners/managers: Forestry Commission