Thursley National Nature Reserve is one of the largest remaining fragments of Surrey heath and includes areas of lowland heath, mire and woodland. The site supports a range of typical heathland wildlife including large invertebrate populations. The best time to visit the reserve is between May and September. The reserve's mixture of mire and wet heath is one of the finest examples of its type in southern England. The site contains bog pools, sphagnum lawns and, in drier areas, tracts of cross-leaved heath on the sandy soils.
Damp areas support carnivorous plants such as sundew. Bog asphodel and marsh orchid may also be seen. Large populations of grayling and purple emperor butterflies can be seen here and of course the silver studded blue butterfly. There are also 26 recorded dragonfly species. Sandier sites on the reserve provide homes for many species of solitary bees and wasps.
Notable birds seen at the site include woodlark, nightjar, hobby and Dartford warbler. The reserve is the only regular curlew breeding site in Surrey and in the winter the great grey shrike is a regular visitor. Merlin, peregrine and short-eared owl have also been recorded at the site.
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- Natural England, July 2008