Witley Common

Witley Common

Witley Common is an area of woodland and heath, close to Witley, Surrey, in the United Kingdom. It is part of a much larger Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The land has been occupied since the Bronze Age — it features ancient burial mounds which have been dated to this period. It has been used as common land by many generations over the centuries — particularly for grazing, turf-cutting and, during the 16th and 17th centuries, for iron workings.

Witley Common again proved useful during the first and second World Wars when the land was used by the army as a training camp (Witley Camp) with up to 20,000 soldiers based there at one point. In the late 1940s, it was gradually restored to its pre-war condition.

Today it is managed by the National Trust, to provide a mixture of habitats for wildlife, with birch, oak and pine woodland, as well as open heathland. Birdlife includes nightjars and nightingales

Witley Centre

Witley Common contains a nature information centre, known as The Witley Centre, run by the National Trust.

Built and managed by the National Trust, the centre features a countryside exhibition. The Witley Centre often hosts school groups and children's holiday activities. The area is populated by many rare species and has a broad range of deciduous and evergreen varieties of trees. The area is a water catchment for the upper reaches of the River Wey.

External links

* [http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Witley+Common?opendocument Surrey County Council]
* [http://www.nwsurreyrspb.org.uk/Witley270806.htm Ornithologist review]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/187683 Photo]
* [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-witleycommoninfocentre/ information at the National Trust]

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