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Visitor information

Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Beeches is also a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and European Special Area of Conservation (SAC). SSSIs and NNRs are protected under British law and SACs are also protected under the European Community's Habitats Directive. More information about the wildlife that can be found here is on the wildlife and nature page.

Contact us

​General queries

For general enquiries, please email burnham.beeches@cityoflondon.gov.uk or call our office on 01753 647358 and we will be happy to help.

Alternatively you can write to us at:

The City of London Burnham Beeches Office, Hawthorn Lane, Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, SL2 3TE

Problems?

If you notice any faults - such as damaged signs, fences or stiles, fly-tipping, excessive litter or obstructions on any paths you can report them and track progress online.

Whilst out at Burnham Beeches, please do not hesitate to speak to any member of staff, who will be pleased to help you.

In an emergency

City of London staff patrol Burnham Beeches for your safety and to help protect the site from harmful activities. If you see a problem on Burnham Beeches or Stoke Common that requires immediate attention, please call our emergency telephone number. This line is answered 24 hours a day and details will be forwarded to the member of staff on duty.

Emergency telephone number: 01372 279488

Opening times

Gates to the car parks at Burnham Beeches are opened from 8am and are closed at dusk (4pm in winter up to 9pm in summer).  Please note that in adverse weather conditions partial or full site closure may apply - for example if the Met Office forecast for Slough predicts wind speeds gusting at or above 45mph.

The Beeches Café, public toilets and Information Point are open 364 days of the year (closed on Christmas day); in general they are open between 10am and 5pm (subject to seasonal variations). These facilities take advantage of green oak, grass roofs, natural lighting and low water use technology and demonstrate the City of London’s commitment to sustainability.

Getting to us

Access to the reserves

At Burnham Beeches access on foot is available at all times but gates to parking areas are opened from 8am and closed at dusk (4.30pm – 9pm). During weekends and bank holidays a daily parking charge of £2 per car applies.

Parking at Stoke Common is limited to a lay-by with space for just a few cars.

Why not leave the car at home and come on foot, cycle or by public transport? Find out how to get to us.

Maps and trails

If you are looking for a map of the Beeches, some information about the history and wildlife associated with the reserve or some ideas of routes to take when you get here, you will find the information on the maps and trails page.​

Walking your dog

Dog walkers are welcome at Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common - here are some ways to ensure you enjoy your visit:

  • Do always carry a dog bag with you and take the waste home or put it in any of the special dog bins or general waste bins on site
  • Do make sure you have a lead with you at all times
  • Do ensure that your dog is always wearing a collar and tag - if it gets lost it will be much easier for us to reunite you with your dog.
  • Do keep your dog's worming and vaccinations up to date - yours is not the only dog visiting the Beeches
  • Do ensure that you keep your dog under effective control - that means in sight at all times and returning when called
  • Do make sure you know where the Dog Control Orders apply (see below)
  • Do enjoy walking your dog through around 540 acres of this fantastic nature reserve

Dog Control Orders (DCOs) apply at all times in Burnham Beeches.  There are areas where dogs can be off lead but there are also areas where they must be on lead at all times, as well as an exclusion area by the cafe.  In addition you must bring no more than four dogs onto the Beeches and you must pick up after your dog at all times. Please visit our Dog Control Order page for more details on how and where they apply.

Cycling

​Cyclists are welcome at both sites and we would like to encourage more visitors to come by bike rather than car.

Burnham Beeches is a National Nature Reserve with some very sensitive habitats and over sixty rare or endangered species which would be vulnerable to off-road cycling. Additionally, as the Beeches is just one square mile with no public rights of way and large numbers of visitors each year, we are too small to permit off-road cycling. Cyclists are, however, welcome to use the network of tarmac surfaced roads, the majority of which are closed to cars. The cycling factsheet (PDF, 370kb) is available from the Burnham Beeches Office or information point.

Cyclists can enjoy the bridleways which cross Stoke Common but again, cycling off theses paths is not permitted.

Accessibility

The team at Burnham Beeches are keen to ensure that where possible, access is made available to all visitors. The disabled access page details the facilities available to less mobile visitors to the reserve, including easy access paths, the Car Free Zone, and the Sensory Trail.​

BBQs

​Under normal conditions, BBQs are permitted in Burnham Beeches but visitors must follow these rules:

  • No hot surfaces to come into contact with the ground.  BBQs should be on legs or held off the ground with bricks or similar
  • BBQs must not be placed on benches
  • BBQs only permitted in open grass areas on Lord Mayors Drive but NOT within the grazing area
  • BBQs must not be lit under the canopy of any tree
  • You must bring with you sufficient water to FULLY extinguish any coals
  • All charcoal and associated BBQ waste must be taken away by visitors and disposed of at home.  Do not use bins on site

A Ranger will approach you to check that you are adhering to these rules.

In periods of hot, dry weather BBQs may be banned.  In these circumstances an update will be posted on our news page.


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