Burgh Heath

Nestled amongst high density housing, Burgh Heath is an important amenity for residents and has extremely high visitor numbers at all times of the year.  The site consists of areas of woodland with attractive glades where relative peace and tranquillity can be found.

Burgh Heath has a network of ponds on site that support a small and fragile population of Great Crested Newts.

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Burgh Heath is 78 acres (30 hectares) and almost as small as Park Downs. Being surrounded by housing and intersected by roads the site is disturbed by light, noise and emissions, it is also heavily used by local people, all of which puts the wildlife under constant pressure. Despite all this, Burgh Heath is heavily wooded and birdsong can be surprisingly evident above the general noise. It also has five very important pond habitats.


The woodland shadow cast by the thick tree canopy and the widespread presence of bracken has resulted in notable plants being fairly scarce over most of the site, though there are English bluebells in the wooded areas, and other spring woodland flowers such as anemone and sorrel.

Management priorites include thinning some of the trees and ride management to let in more light across the woodland flooor. That will attract more flowers and the small animals that depend on them.

Non-flowering plants such as fungi, mosses and ferns are quite well represented but the nearby roads are anathema to pollution sensitive organisms such as lichens.

Some of the ponds retain a few interesting plants such as pillwort, iris and bogbean and we will carry out management activity to encourage them.


Roe deer are present in the woods, though the surrounding roads are a constant threat to them, and foxes and squirrels are ubiquitous.

The ponds harbour smooth newts, common frogs and a fragile population of Great Crested Newts.

Birdlife is surprisingly resilient and woodpeckers, nuthatches, treecreepers and other common birds throughout the year. Warblers such as chiffchaffs are present in the summer and thrushes such as redwings visit in the winter. Water birds are present around the ponds. You can often catch a glimpse of a buzzard in the Woodland area and kites can be seen soaring above the site.

Dragonflies visit, and breed in, the ponds and there are a few other interesting insects present, such as beetles.


The ponds are mainly in pairs and served diferent nearby manors. The main Burgh Heath pond was originally two ponds aligned adjacent east-west, but around 1841 the western pond was abandoned. The small island is the remnant of the bank that separated the two ponds. When it was cleaned out around the turn of the millennium, many Victorian bottles were found, mainly made by Bonnys of Reigate. The sand pit near ASDA was filled with domestic refuse from Sutton which also revealed some interesting finds.

At the south end of Burgh Heath there are the remains of embankments, now covered in ash trees, on either side of the road that were built to stop people avoiding the toll by driving around the gate that was there.

Map Of Burgh Heath