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Papercourt GPs Surrey

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Short-eared Owl
Mark Leitch
04 January 2016
One over the meadow at 1500hrs.
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Site Location Details

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Site Details

Former gravel pits just to the Woking side of Ripley. The main pit is used by sailing club and anglers but most of the leisure activities take place at the weekend and the birds are relatively undisturbed during the week. Access via a footpath from Polesden Lane is easy. Around the pit the main habitats are bushes and bramble scrub, some open grass, some mixed woodland and a few large gardens. To the north of the pit is a view across Newark Lane to agricultural land. To the south, behind the sailing club buildings, is a smaller pit closely surrounded by trees which is favoured by shyer water birds such as Gadwall, Shoveler and Goosander. Redpoll and Firecrest have been seen in the area. To the west of the sailing club, bounded by Tannery Lane on the north and east, is another pair of pits designated as a local nature reserve. These have willow, scrub and reed beds which can be viewed with some difficulty from Tannery Lane on the north and from a footpath on the south boundary which leads from east Tannery Lane just below the junction with Polesden Lane. Here can be seen, depending on the time of year, Teal, Shelduck, Gadwall, Shoveler, Snipe, Heron and various Warblers.

Local Weather

Birding Sites in the Papercourt GPs Area

Additional Site Details


From Ripley take Newark Lane (B367) towards Pyrford and Woking. Take third left turn into Polesden Lane. Sailing pit is on the left, initially behind houses. Access to footpath around the pit over a stile just beyond Guides hut/angling club car park.


Park at side of road near Guides hut/angling club car park, taking care not to block access.

Key Areas / Routes

Enter main pit footpath via stile just beyond Guides hut/angling club car park. Turn right and follow path through bushes and overlooking water, passing sailing club. Beyond club fence angle left to small pit and continue round, keeping the pit on your left. At far side of pit and sailing club follow path through mixed woodland, emerging on grassy bank of sailing pit. Continue on path round pit, pausing to look north over Newark Lane to field on opposite side of road. Carry on round pit until you return to stile. Return to Polesden Lane over stile, cross road and enter footpath via gateway/stile passing through fields more or less north west to join Papercourt Lane. On this short section there are views over market gardens, reclaimed land, agricultural land and woodland. On reaching Papercourt Lane, turn left and follow the road for around 50 yards to junction with Tannery Lane (it is possible to extend the walk by taking a footpath on the right through Papercourt Farm to the Wey Navigation at Papercourt Lock). Go straight on along Tannery Lane for about 50 yards and view the nature reserve from the bank on your left. Reverse to junction and turn right up other leg of Tannery Lane until you reach a gate on the right just before the junction with Polesden Lane. This gate leads to the footpath above the nature reserve and offers the only easy views of the reserve, although the open water to the north is not visible. After checking the small open pond just beyond the main section, return to Tannery Lane via the gate and turn right to the junction with Polesden Lane. Here you can either turn left and follow the road back round to the starting point or you can turn right and follow the road round a bend, where you will find that you can enter the grassland near the small southern pit. Turn left and follow the path back past the sailing club to the stile.

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