For a comprehensive guide to CFBW, see cfbwbirds.
These two sites form a large single area of arable farmland and ancient deciduous woodland. Parking for the farm is best along Canons Lane (at the western end) off of the A217 at approx TQ 245 579. It is best to park in Ballards Green, a cul-de-sac off of this road. A purpose built car park exists for the wood at TQ 273 583. Both sites are well served with public footpaths.
Canons Farm has been virtually unwatched until recently; there is no water of any use on site. Early years (2002-2008) of light coverage produced immature female Goshawk, Peregrine, Woodlark, Crossbill and notable counts of Brambling, Chaffinch, Skylark and Yellowhammer. More recent records with increased coverage (2009-2011) include 2 male Hen Harriers; 2 singing Quail; another Goshawk; Corn Bunting; singing Wood Warbler; a flock of 39 Dark-bellied Brent Geese; 2 Ravens; Marsh Harrier; 2 Short-eared Owls; Firecrest; and multiple Ring Ouzels, Black Redstarts, Golden Plovers, Mealy Redpolls, Crossbills, Grasshopper Warblers, Waxwings, Red Kites, Common Redstarts, Whinchats etc, etc. The fields are a mixture of ploughed and unharvested crop with rank grassy areas. Hedgerow is plentiful. There are plenty of 'stand-alone' mature trees and small copses. This farm has potential.
Banstead Woods is a large area of ancient deciduous woodland that still holds breeding Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, while Marsh Tit has sadly disappeared as a breeder very recently. There has been limited observer coverage but in recent years Golden Oriole, Osprey, Firecrest, Wood Warbler and Hawfinch have been seen. A couple of very small ponds exist.
Steve Gale/David Campbell