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Chinthurst Hill

A quiet and peaceful spot with fine views from the summit.

Chinthurst Hill is a quiet and peaceful spot with fine views from its summit. Here you'll find a stone folly built in the 1930’s, which is now a Grade II listed building. Even from the base of this impressive structure you'll encounter wonderful views across Guildford, the Chantries, St Martha's Hill and the North Downs.

Incredibly, man has probably used these hillside woodlands since the Middle Stone Age. Woodland areas were carefully managed to keep them productive, and these particular woodlands have actually been managed for hundreds of years under a system called ‘Coppice with Standards’.

Due to the extensive management of the woodland you'll find many different species of tree on the hill, including oak, sweet chestnut, hazel and rowan.

Surrey Wildlife Trust has been coppicing the hazel, little by little, over the years. A tree is coppiced by cutting at ground level. New shoots soon sprout from the stump, and grow into a dense crop of poles. Traditionally these had a very wide range of uses, including fencing and thatching spars.

Coppicing is also good for wildlife. The wood develops a patchwork of different habitats through the coppicing process. Certain species prefer different ages of coppice. In recently cut open areas, butterflies feed on the carpets of woodland flowers, while the shrubby growth of older bushes provides cover for birds and animals.

A fine display of bluebells can be seen on Chinthurst Hill in the spring. Watch out for roe deer and, if you are walking at dusk in the summer, you may see bats hunting for insects on the wing.

A large area of larch was felled here a decade ago and has been replaced by more traditional native species. Try to identify the trees by their leaves, bark, seeds or, in winter, by their twigs.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

St Martha's Hill & Colyer's Hanger
1 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust
Seccombe's Wood
3 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust
Cucknell's Wood
3 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserves A-Z

Reserve information

Location
Wonersh Common Road (B2128)
Guildford
Surrey
GU5 0PR
Map reference
TQ 014 462
Great for...
getting away from it all
stunning views
Best time to visit
Apr - Oct
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
17.00 hectares
Status
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Access
The hill is very steep in places with several steps and wheelchair-friendly kissing gates
Walking information
A self-guided trail leaflet is available to download. There is a way-marked circular trail which takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete
Parking
Car park off B2128 Wonersh Common Road
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Pigs on upper hill within permanent and electric fences
Reserve manager
Tel: 01483 795440
info@surreywt.org.uk

Downloads

Factsheets and guides for your visit