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Newdigate Brickworks

A beautiful reserve located on the site of a former claypit and brickworks.

Newdigate Brickworks is a beautiful 43 acre (18ha) nature reserve located on the site of a former claypit and brickworks.

The Newdigate brickyard opened in around 1928 and became a thriving business, employing local men as skilled brickmakers, claydiggers and general workers. A skillful brickmaker could produce up to 2000 bricks a day, and was paid entirely on the number of bricks they produced.

Although the Brickworks closed during WWII and much of the site became derelict, a small number of handmade bricks continued to be made at the brickworks until 1974, when the brickworks closed for good and the site was abandoned.

It was eventually decided that part of the site would be used for a housing development and the remainder would become a nature reserve. The Mulberries housing development was completed in 2004 and management of the new reserve was taken over by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.

The reserve is surrounded by hedgerows to the west and ancient semi-natural woodland to the east and south-east. The disused clay pits now host two lakes. The mosaic of woodland, scrub, grassland, marsh, water-side and aquatic vegetation communities makes the site particularly diverse.

A total of 188 vascular plants have been recorded for the site (including 27 ancient woodland indicator species). There is also a small area of formerly managed hazel, ash and field maple coppice with oak standards. Away from the relatively dense shade of canopy trees, hawthorn and elder shrubs are common. The ground flora in this area is dominated by dog’s mercury, bluebell and wood melick.

The site also contains areas of woodland and scrub that include hawthorn, wild cherry, apple, alder, sessile oak, blackthorn, hornbeam and elder. There are also some specimens of the wild service tree, which is often regarded as an indicator of land unlikely ever to have come under the plough.

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Whippets Cant
3 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust
Inholms Claypit
3 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust
Vann Lake (inc. Candy's Copse)
4 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust

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Reserve information

Hogspudding Lane
Map reference
TQ 205 427
Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
May - Sep
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Opening Times
Open at all times
24.00 hectares
Car park at The Mulberries, Newdigate
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Tel: 01483 795440