Surrey heathland is outstandingly important for birds. Although the number of characteristic heathland species is small, heathland in Surrey supports internationally important numbers of three bird species listed on Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive. These are the nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, woodlark Lululla arborea (both UK Priority List) and Dartford warbler Sylvia undata (‘Amber List’).

The Surrey populations of these species are: nightjar – 4%, woodlark – 11% and Dartford warbler – 10%. Whilst Dartford warblers are virtually tied to heathland habitats, the other two species occupy afforested sites at appropriate stages of the forestry cycle. The majority of heathland sites are notified as SSSIs and included in the Thames Basin and Wealden Heaths Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Other characteristic species include the linnet Carduelis cannabina, stonechat Saxicola torquata, tree pipit Anthus trivialis and hobby Falco subbuteo. Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos, snipe Gallinago gallinago and curlew Numenius aquata breed very locally.

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Contact details

Project Manager – Dr Rob McGibbon
Senior Project Officer – Marcus Turley

Surrey Heathland Project, Artington House, Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4DZ
Telephone: 01483 579713
Fax: 01483 579740

The Heathland Project is supported by:

Surrey County Council, Guildford Borough Council, Waverley Borough Council, Woking Borough Council, Runnymede Borough Council, Ewhurst Parish Council, Witley Parish Council, Wonersh Parish Council, RSPB, English Nature, MoD and the Herpetological Conservation Trust

Surrey County Council
working in partnership
Surrey Countryside Management