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More about Little Haldon Heaths

Little Haldon view


The heathland here has formed on very acidic well drained soils. The most common, and most colourful plants are common heather (ling), bell heather and western gorse. Among the rarer plants here are the dainty white climbing corydalis and the parasitic 'dodder'. Devon whitebeam is an attractive small tree which is hardly found anywhere outside Devon - but it is quite common at Little Haldon!

Stonechat and nightjar - both characteristic birds of heathland, breed here along with yellow hammers and many other species. Common lizard, adder and foxes are often seen on the heathland.

Historical Interest

Lowland heath habitats began forming over 5,000 years ago when hunter-gatherers became farmers and progressively cleared the native forests. In areas of southern Britain with thin sandy soils such as Little Haldon, heather and gorse soon took root, creating large expanses of heathland.


White Wells Picnic Site and Postman's Path Picnic Site are very popular with picnickers and walkers, with cyclists using the nearby roads, with dog walkers and with visitors enjoying the spectacular panoramic views.


Heathland at Little Haldon is managed under a Countryside Stewardship Agreement to maintain vigorous and healthy heather communities, by cutting back excessive bracken and scrub and by occasionally cutting the heather to simulate historical grazing practices.