Nature in West End

inside pirbright rangesThere are many open access areas in and around the village.  Brentmoor Heath, which adjoins the army Range Danger Area, is a Local Nature Reserve. The reserve is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) on behalf of Surrey Heath Borough Council.  The adjacent land to the north, MOD training area D3, is managed by SWT on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.  Both areas are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) under UK law and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds and a Special Area for Conservation (SAC) under EU law.  They are particularly important for the breeding populations of Dartford Warbler, Nightjar and Woodlark.  There is also an important assemblage of invertebrates, many of which are only found on the open sandy heaths of southern England. 
Silver Studded Blue ButterflyThe Silver-studded Blue butterfly can be seen fluttering above the heather in June and July.  Also to be found are roe deer, harvest mice, badger, adder, grass snake and the large pine-needle domes made by wood ants.  Folly Bog, which lies outside the fence north of the ranges is now also managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust and enjoys the same habitat protection.  This contains a valley mire wetland area where many dragonfly, damselfly and wetland specialist plants and animals are found.  A restoration project on the Folly stream has been underway since 1998 to restore the wetland habitat after damaging straightening and deepening the course of the meandering stream in about 1900. 

The heathland is particularly beautiful in late summer when the heather is in bloom and buzzing with many insects.  In the autumn there are many species of fungi, including one found in 1995, that was the first record in the UK and made a return appearance in autumn 2010 on a pile of woodchips.  In winter snow there are some magical sights.  On a clear day there are views as far as the Hogs Back from the top of New England Hill.  There would have been a clear view of this landmark from the Bronze Age burial mounds when they were made and before the tree cover obscured the views.

Argiope bruennichi spiderThe fragile heathland soils and plants are under constant pressure from visitors, dog walkers, mushroom picking (illegal under the bylaws and SSSI designation without obtaining special permission), mountain bikes and wildfires. 

To protect our valued heathland for future generations, please keep to the paths, remove dog waste, do not light fires or drop cigarettes and do not disturb the natural habitats.  Digging is prohibited under the bylaws particularly as the area was previously all an active military training area and may still contain hazardous objects.

For a comprehensive  guide to fungi on our heathland please click this link.False chanterelle

Within the village you can find horses, pigs, sheep, parakeets, cattle and deer.
Inside the Range fence Boundary is an interesting building.Ponies in West End [J Llwellyn 2011]

Jasper and Butch, New England residents