Elstead Group of Commons

Bell heather

© Tom Marshall

active military training area

Lowland heath and woodland with a variety of heathland species. The Elstead Group of Commons includes Bagmoor, Royal, Ockley and Elstead Commons.


Between Elstead and Milford
Nearest postcode: GU8 6HX

OS Map Reference

A static map of Elstead Group of Commons

Know before you go

180 hectares

Parking information

Car park off B3001

Grazing animals



Not suitable for wheelchair users or people with mobility issues


Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

June to September

About the reserve

Royal, Elstead and Ockley Commons are managed by the Trust on behalf of the MoD, while neighbouring Bagmoor Common is owned by the Trust. 

The commons are very popular with dog walkers, families and horse riders. They're a great place for bird watching - nightjars, Dartford warblers, tawny owls, woodpeckers and cuckoos have been spotted here. 

The Trust's herd of conservation grazing Belted Galloway cows can often be seen at work keeping scrub under control on precious lowland heath habitats.

The commons are extremely important in Surrey for 'saproxylic invertebrates' such as stag beetles, which are dependent on decaying wood. Fallen trees are deliberately left as deadwood habitats for invertebrates and fungi.

The site boasts several ponds and is a stronghold for breeding toads, supporting an estimated 1,000 individuals! It’s also a good place to spot a variety of dragonflies. Woodland butterflies, notably white admiral and purple hairstreak, are also a feature of these reserves.

Please note that access to this site is subject to the terms and conditions of the Military Byelaws, which are displayed at all major access points.

Contact us

Contact number: 01483 795440
Contact email: info@surreywt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Location map

Active military training area, please respect military training activity.

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