The National Body For Naturalists

British Naturalists’ Association



The BNA held a field day at Ashtead Common, Surrey that incorporated the AGM on Saturday 27 July 2013. It was based at the Estate Office of the Corporation of London who own and manage the common. In spite of a dubious weather forecast we were remarkably lucky having sunshine during the morning and the first part of the afternoon walk, while the afternoon shower did not persist for long.

On arrival the group were welcomed by the Ranger Sean O’Kelly who gave a most interesting talk outlining the history of Ashtead Common, its acquisition by the Corporation of London in 1989-90, and the main habitats, including the many veteran trees supporting the rich fauna of dead wood beetles that helped the site obtain SSSI and later National Nature Reserve status. He also explained the methods used to conserve and manage the site along traditional lines and the research taking place to improve management practice.

June Chatfield then led the outdoor part of the programme exploring Wood Field, a damp semi-acid grassland on low nutrient soil, in the morning and during the afternoon undertaking a longer walk to see the range of habitats including the oak pollards and ancient woodland at the top of the hill. We were joined by Sandra Evans, one of the Ashtead Common Volunteers who lives on the edge of the site and has known it for many years.

An interesting range of plants, insects and spiders were seen with a glimpse of a roe deer in the ancient woodland.

Pictures of Ashtead Common

Photos: B. Sherwood