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Secrets of the Heath

Discover the secrets of a 5,000 year old heath on a 69 acre site with a 22 acre pond, used by humans since ancient times.

A short walk from the town centre, Petersfield Heath is a perfect place to explore, relax and enjoy a picnic. Alternatively you can have lunch at The Plump Duck situated at the edge of the Pond. After lunch explore the heathlands and discover the 21 Bronze Age Barrows. Look out for the many species of wildlife that inhabit the area including kingfishers, great crested grebes, willow warblers, shrews and common lizards.

Follow the circular Millennium Path walk around the Pond and take in the beautiful surroundings, or if you’re feeling spontaneous, rowing boats are available for hire during the summer season. You can also buy a fishing day ticket from the water bailiff and fish at the Pond.

Children will enjoy exploring the heath or having fun in the children’s play area. Time your visit to coincide with the Secrets of the Heath weekend with lots of interactive educational activities, stalls and displays.

Getting around
Distance Just over 0.5 mile from Petersfield Station
Duration A half day, can be extended to a full day
Grade Easy
Directions – Walk
  1. From outside Petersfield railway station walk straight along Lavant Street.
  2. Turn right into Chapel Street, then left at Swan Street.
  3. Continue straight along the High Street until you reach the junction with Dragon Street.
  4. Cross over Dragon Street into Heath Road, veering slightly right along Heath Road until you see the entrance to the Heath and the Pond.
Directions – Cycle
  1. Cycle down Lavant Street outside Petersfield railway station and right into Chapel Street.
  2. Turn left into Swan Street and continue straight along the High Street until you reach the junction with Dragon Street.
  3. Cross over Dragon Street into Heath Road, veering slightly right along Heath Road until you see the entrance to the Heath and the Pond.

Useful information

Petersfield Heath is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, one of the most complex Bronze Age burial sites in southern England.

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Several lowland heath habitats can be found on the Greensand Ridge, which extends from Petersfield to Storrington in West Sussex. The Emsworth & District bus service 92 from Petersfield to Midhurst stops close to Iping and Stedham Commons Nature Reserve. Hear you can listen to the haunting churring of the nightjars in summer, the warblers nestling in the coconut-scented gorse, and the chirruping of the field crickets re-introduced here in 2001.

Extend Your Visit

Stay another day and follow the Footsteps of the Naturalists. Walk along the wooded Hangers Way with spectacular views across the valleys and visit Gilbert White’s House at Selbourne.

Useful Links

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