GFF-121 Thames Basin Heaths SPA – Clarification

Updated: 2015-10-04


When the World Flora Fauna program was first established, the Directory appears to have put together with limited knowledge of the UK’s designated areas.

Originally, reference GFF-121 was defined as Castle Bottom – which is assumed to have meant the small area designated as a National Nature Reserve.

Relevant Designations

Most (but not quite all) of Castle Bottom NNR forms part of the Castle Bottom to Yateley and Hawley Commons Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI).

The NNR and the SSSI designated areas both form part of the Natura2000 designated Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA), which also encompasses a number of other local SSSIs – including some of those that form the northern part of the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham Special Area of Conservation (SAC).


To avoid confusion, and risk invalidating activity, the Directory was updated in January 2013 to define GFF-121 as Thames Basin Heaths SPA to include the areas designated as follows:

  • The northern half of the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham SAC consisting:
    • Ash to Brookwood Heaths SSSI
    • Chobham Common SSSI and NNR
    • Colony Bog and Bagshot Heaths SSSI
  • The remaining SSSIs that form the Thames Basin Heaths SPA:
    • Bourley and Long Valley SSSI (incorporating Heath Brow SSSI)
    • Bramshill SSSI
    • Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI
    • Castle Bottom to Yateley and Hawley Commons SSSI
      (including Castle Bottom NNR)
    • Eelmoor Marsh SSSI
    • Hazeley Heath SSSI (and RSPB Reserve)
    • Horsell Common SSSI
    • Ockham and Wisley Commons SSSI
    • Sandhurst to Owlsmoor Bogs and Heaths SSSI
    • Whitmoor Common SSSI

Both the SAC and SPA are formed from a number of separate, disparate, sites – the applicability of a single reference covering these will be constantly reviewed.

Last Update 2016-01-09

After further consideration, and representation from potential activators, the following distinct areas have been allocated their own unique WWFF reference.

  • 2014-03-13: GFF-296 allocated to Chobham Common SSSI and NNR
  • 2015-10-04: GFF-316 allocated to Ockham and Wisley Commons SSSI
  • 2016-01-08: GFF-320 allocated to Hazeley Heath SSSI (and RSPB Reserve)


  1. The remaining parts of the Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham Special Area of Conservation (SAC) are included within GFF-207, the Wealden Heaths SPA.
  2. Only those areas explicitly listed above are included within GFF-121. In particular, even though they fall within the “boundary” of the Thames Basin Heaths, a number of other SSSIs are currently not designated as being part of the SPA, therefore are EXCLUDED from GFF-121
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