As always the natural environment is the product of geology and climate. Lying along the southern most border of the last glacial advance and in the Thames Valley flood plain, gravel drainage and an open aspect shaped the living landscape. Also the activities of the local authority and the need to dispose refuse amongst other things.
So today when walking on the Heath it is fairly easy to read the telltale signs of what lies under where and how it has affected the plants and animals living above.
Areas to the North and East of the site show grassland mixed deciduous planting and arrangement with the creation of pathways and small copses. A seasonal wet land with reed beds and a bird hide form part of this environment.
The Southern edge and the middle of the site have large stands of oaks and mixed willows and birches. The history of dumping domestic rubbish has also allowed for a liberal scattering of apple and pear trees, whilst the former GLC contributed poplars and wild cherry trees too. Hence it's a great pleasure to walk the site in the spring with many beautiful vistas and rides.
At the Heath's heart is a large area of gauze and heather and acid grassland and seasonal ponds. Much work has been done over past 20 years to encourage is most native element of the site.
Bearing in mind that since 1929 the whole site was extracted of gravel, the current landscape looks completely restored and natural and in deed mature.
The Heath is well for invertebrates and reptiles and is used annually by migrating birds such as WHEATEARS, WHITE THROATS. HOBBIES, SHORT EARED OWL and during the winter months WOODCOCK and SNIPE. Indeed this year (2010) has been a good year to heat and see CUCKOOS.