Ownership: Malmesbury  Estate

Designation: SSSI,SAC,SPA, Ramsar

Restrictions: Open Access Land, please keep dogs on a lead.

Access: Through Ramsdown Forest (Forestry Commission)

The Reserve

East Ramsdown is 14 hectares of a range of different habitats. A steep dry heath dominated south facing hill looks out towards its neighbour reserve of Town Common making this an ideal area for sand lizards. The dry heath grades down to a mixture of dry and humid heath, the perfect habitat for common lizards and smooth snakes. The habitat continues to grade into wet heath and acid bog surrounding a large acidic pond located near the centre of the reserve. The pond is home to a varied mix of dragonfly species and a great place to see acid bog loving plants such as sundew. The wealth of dragonfly species the pond holds also attracts feeding hobbies on a regular basis in the summer months. As the reserve continues east the habitat becomes mainly humid heath with the odd dry ridge, this is an ideal mix of habitats for adders, smooth snakes, grass snakes, and common lizards. With much less public pressure than the neighbouring Town Common other species of interest in the area including Dartford warbler and nightjars occur here in good numbers.

A Little History

East Ramsdown would have originally been a continuous part of Town Common but in 1956 the A338 was built and separated the two reserves. Evidence of minerals extraction exist on the site with a small quarry not far from the entrance, this would have had to do with the nearby residence of Brick Field Cottage which is off the private Brick Kiln Lane.

Species you might spot:


Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)  

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) 

Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) 

Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca) 

Adder (Vipera berus) 


Common Toad (Bufo bufo) 

Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) 

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) 


Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)

Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

Hobby (Falco subbutteo)


Silver Studded Blue (Plebejus argus)

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)


Southern Hawker (Aeshna cynea)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)

Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum)

This is by no means a comprehensive list of species on the reserve.