Countryside sites

Find out about the countryside sites in Elmbridge and how we manage them. 

Woodland management works 2022-2023

Watch the autumn/window woodland works video for more information about their benefits on public access and biodiversity.

Countryside guided walks 2023

Walks led by countryside ranger.

  • Wednesday 29 March. Early Spring wildflower walk on West End Common.10am to 12pm. Learn more about the  diversity of flora in our local woodlands with a tour of The Ledges. Find out how to identify wildflowers, about their unusual names and the insects that rely on them. Spot kingfishers, nuthatches and weasels along the way.
  • Wednesday 3 May. Late Spring wildflower walk on West End Common.  10am to 12pm. See the spring display of wildflowers its peak. 
  • Wednesday 10 May. Dawn chorus walk. 6am to 8am. Discover the voices of the woods and heaths of Esher Common. Take a tour of the habitats of the many different songbirds that live on the common. Learn how to find and identify them by song and call.

Meeting point for walks is Horseshoe Clump car park, Portsmouth Road, nearest postcode KT10 9JQ

All walks are free to join but advance booking at as spaces are limited. 

About Elmbridge countryside sites

Elmbridge has 20 countryside sites, which cover approximately 550 hectares. The largest countryside site is Esher Commons SSSI.

Find out more from the Elmbridge countryside leaflet:

Esher Commons SSSI

The Esher Commons cover 360 hectares – 4% of the borough. They run from Esher to Cobham, Oxshott to West End and are said to date back to Medieval times. They contain a wide range of habitats, including woodland, heathland and wetland and support a variety of wildlife, including rare butterfly, beetle and reptile species.

In 1995, The Esher Commons were designated by the Government as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for their wildlife diversity. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are the country's very best wildlife and geological sites. There are over 4,000 SSSIs in England. SSSIs support rare plants and animals that now find it difficult to survive in the wider countryside. To find out more about SSSIs and why it is important to maintain them, see the Natural England and Forestry Commission.

History of Esher Commons

Orienteering courses

Orienteering courses around Esher Commons are a great way to learn how to find your way around. It doesn't matter how young, old or fit you are - you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.

There are 5 orienteering routes available on the commons, depending on how far you want to go:

  • yellow A - 1.5 kms
  • yellow B - 1.7 kms
  • orange - 2.3 kms
  • light green - 3.5 kms
  • blue - 4.7 kms 

For more information and to receive the detailed maps contact


Interested in volunteering with the countryside team? Find out more about volunteering.

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