Normandy Common was conveyed to the Crown (in this instance, The War Department) in 1876 as being part of the Manor of Cleygate. In 1953 the Ash and Normandy Parish Council purchased the greater part of the Common, including the pond, from the War Department in order to develop the land for recreational purposes. A couple of years later Normandy became a Parish in its own right and in 1989 purchased the remainder of the common from the Ministry of Defence. The Common is situated only a few yards away from the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) an EEC designated site. One of the protected species is the Dartford Warbler, a bird which nests close to the ground when breeding.
The Parish Council has since that time developed the area for recreation and it has provided land to various clubs for development of sport and recreation in the Village. Of particular note are the Tennis Club and the Cricket Club. The Football Club which started small now needs larger facilities and it is intended to move it to Manor Fruit Farm where other sporting facilities are situated.
The resultant space will be returned to nature…….
In 2008 The Worplesdon and District Bridleways Assn improved Horse-riding access to the Common by constructing a Bridleway along which have been placed new homes for bats, birds, and dormice. Two years later, work started on renovation of an area to the north of the common which has re-established our Traditional Orchard.
In 2012 the Parish Council developed a ‘Green Gym’ which is situated next to the Football Pavilion and Tennis Courts.
In 2014 the Parish Council commissioned a survey of the Common from Surrey Wildlife Trust. The results were and are exciting. The Parish Council are working under the guidance of the Trust to ensure that our flora and fauna are encouraged and protected.