Visit Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common
Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common
Over the past year the abnormally high numbers of visitors has put extreme pressure on the National Nature Reserve. Whilst parking areas have now re-opened and visitor numbers have started to decline, there are still concerns about the long term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the nature reserve's habitats and wildlife. Consequently, some parking spaces and certain areas of the nature reserve may be temporarily closed to visitors to minimise further damage. You can help the reserve by staying on the main surfaced paths as much as possible and not cutting corners or taking shortcuts. Whilst the livestock are on the reserve please enjoy them from a distance: do not approach or try to feed or pet them.
Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common are located in Buckinghamshire to the West of London and are registered charities. Both sites are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Burnham Beeches is additionally a National Nature Reserve and Special Area of Conservation: these are internationally important places for wildlife so please take special care when you visit and be mindful of the impact of your visit on the local wildlife. When you visit, you can help the wildlife by keeping to the main paths to reduce trampling, and by remembering that shouting, barking dogs and dogs running widely are very disturbing to birds and mammals. Please ask a Ranger or use the signs on site to understand what you are able to do.
Discover the splendor of the ancient beech pollards, explore the rare and diverse habitats or take in the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds these beautiful, scenic sites.
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Why not leave the car at home and come on foot, cycle or by public transport? Our getting to Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common page has information on different modes of transport and directions.
If you are not able to walk or cycle to Burnham Beeches and want to park on site, the car parks are open from 8am and close at dusk. Daily parking charges apply - see our car parking and season ticket page. Parking at Stoke Common is limited to a lay-by with space for just a few cars.
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Cyclists and horse riders are welcome at both sites; we encourage visitors to come by bike rather than car. You can enjoy the bridleways which cross Stoke Common but must stick to the tarmac at Burnham Beeches. The very sensitive habitats at both sites can be easily damaged by riding or cycling off of the permitted paths.
Both of these nature reserves have rare and extremely sensitive habitats, so we are sorry but BBQs and fires are not permitted on either site at any time.
Dog walkers are welcome at both sites - here are some ways to enjoy your visit:
- do always carry a bag with you and take the waste home or, if at the Beeches, use one of the bins on site
- do always make sure you carry a lead with you
- do ensure that your dog is wearing a collar and tag - if it gets lost it will be much easier for us to reunite you with your dog
- do keep you dog's worming and vaccinations up to date - yours isn't the only dog visiting the site
- 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 Public Spaces Protection Orders apply
- do enjoy walking your dog around these fantastic nature reserves
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) apply at Burnham Beeches at all times. Please visit our Public Spaces Protection Orders page for more information on how and where they apply.
Burnham Beeches is a great place to explore and learn. There are large car parks suitable for coach parking (see car parking page), public toilets, the Main Common where the children can let off steam and of course, the nature reserve's fantastic wildlife and history. Unfortunately we do not have an education team and whilst we can sometimes offer a short Ranger led walk, staff numbers often mean that this will not be possible. However, we have created a Teachers' pack (downloadable from the link below) which has been designed to give you all the information you should need for a successful, enjoyable and educational day out. If you are planning a visit, please be sure to contact us so we can make the necessary arrangements.
Maps and trails and event diary
We have a selection of maps and trails that can be downloaded from the links below. All our activities for the year can be found in the event diary. If you are a veteran tree enthusiast, the Ancient Tree Forum has created a series of interactive trails including one exploring the Veteran Trees at Burnham Beeches.
For some fun over the summer holiday period, we have created the Woodland Explorers Summer Trail booklet which has lots of ideas for nature themed activities and games to do when you visit or at home. You can follow the suggested route or make up your own. Take your time and spread it over the summer or do it all in one day - its up to you! Download it from the link below.
A booklet packed full of ideas for nature themed activities to do whilst you visit or at home. Do it all in one day or spread it over the summer - its up to you.
Annual event diary including details of all walks, events and volunteer tasks. Also includes maps and background information about the Beeches to help you enjoy your visit.
Leaflet explaining some of the history in Burnham Beeches
Information pack for all teachers planning a trip to Burnham Beeches Nature Reserve