Hook Common and Bartley Heath
Know before you go
Entry feeDonations welcome
Parking informationParking at Hook Cricket Club and by Permit Car Park on Bartley Heath (see description below)
Grazing animalsBritish Whites, New Forest Ponies, Exmoor ponies
Hook Common and Bartley Heath are open access land, a number of public Rights of Way and many informal paths cross the site. Please keep to the obvious paths during the spring and summer so that rare ground nesting birds are not disturbed.
Contact the Trust for disabled access information
On Foot: For Bartley Heath there are several pedestrian access points on Griffin Way South and at the car park entrance.
Car: From the M3, exit at junction 5. For Bartley Heath take Griffin Way (B3349) towards Hook and for Hook Common take Hook Common Road (A287) towards Newnham. Please note that the Bartley Heath car park now operates under a permit scheme, if you would like a permit please read the terms and conditions and then complete the application form and return it to us – please allow up to 4 weeks for your application to be processed. There are lay-bys which can be used on either side of Hook Common Road (A287) but there is minimal space. If you would like to visit the nearby site Bassetts Mead which has adequate parking, follow these directions:
From the Bartley Heath car park: Go north on the B3349 for a couple of hundred meters; take the second exit at the roundabout; Straight over next roundabout second exit; right at next roundabout third exit onto the A30: after approximately 700m take the right hand turn onto Holt Lane opposite the Crooked Billet pub; immediately turn left by the pumping station onto a track that runs parallel to the A30; park on the hard surface (not the grass as it is soft and you may get stuck). From there walk east along the track until you get to the river Whitewater, on your right hand side is a kissing gate that takes you into Bassetts Mead. Bassetts Mead is very wet during winter so wellies or waterproof walking boots are advisable.
Sat nav: RG27 9HD takes you to Station Road, which is just north of the two reserves
Train: Hook: 0.3miles – Bartley Heath: On Station Road turn left and walk 300m before going straight over the roundabout. Immediately on the left after the roundabout there is a stile to enter Bartley Heath. Alternatively, there is a gate approximately 300 meters on your left. Hook: 0.3 mile – Hook Common: On Station Road turn left and walk almost 300m. Just before the roundabout turn right onto Hook Road. The entrance is immediately on the right.
Bus: The nearest bus stop is on Station Road, Hook (Just over 0.3 miles). Follow directions above
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year - seasonal highlightsOrchids, Meadow Thistle, Marsh Gentian, Buzzard, Lesser spotted woodpecker, Woodcock, Nightjar, White Admiral, Purple Emperor, Purple Hairstreak, Slow-worm, Common Lizard, Grass Snake, Adder, Gorse, Heather, Hazel dormouse
About the reserve
This expanse of open heathland and woodland supports a range of fascinating wildlife, including basking reptiles and colourful dragonflies. Exmoor ponies and cattle also live here, grazing the reserves to restore the former heathland habitat that was once widespread in Hampshire – it is a joy to watch them.
The rare marsh gentian and a population of heath spotted orchids can be found here, as well as heather, gorse, skullcap, mullein and cow wheat.
Wander through this woodland oasis and discover the fascinating wildlife within.