Headley Heath - a wonderful mix of open heathland, woodland and chalk downland

Headley Heath has a wide network of tracks to explore, and stunning views to rival any of its neighbours - the perfect place to enjoy the countryside, whether walking, cycling or horseriding.

The Heath is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its rich, varied, and sometimes rare, wildlife, made up of a wonderful mosaic of open heath, chalk downland slopes and mixed woodland.

There's always something new to see, from fragrant, bright yellow gorse and breathtaking purple heathers, to deer, badgers and dragonflies.

During the warmer months Headley Heath is alive with bird song from rare birds like stonechats, linnets, meadow pipits and woodlarks.

History of Headley

The name Headley, 'Hallega' in old English, means a clearing with heather. There are three villages named Headley in South-East England and they're all in acid heathy areas, perfect conditions for heathers.

Headley can trace its origins back many years. It was part of the Copthorne Hundred, an administrative division devised by the Saxons.

The Manor of Headley is listed in the Domesday Survey of 1086 and it was held by Ralph of Felgeres. Previously, the manor was held by Countess Goda (the mother of King Harold) and it was granted to her by King Edward the Confessor.

At this time the heath would have been used for grazing animals and collecting furze, bracken and firewood by the villagers.

Where you can ride

 A map of Headley Heath can be downloaded here Here

below is a smaller version



photos courtesy of Janet Figg