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Newlands Corner & Silent Pool
Betchworth Quarry & Lime Kilns
Nore Hill Chalk Pinnacle
Park Ham & Quarry Hangers
St Martha's Hill
Seale Chalk Pit
Wotton, Broadmoor & Abinger Commons
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St Martha's Hill
The sandy paths up to the Church on the summit from either Guildford Lane Car Park or Halfpenny Lane Car park offer stunning views of the surrounding area. From the top, on a clear day, you can see eight counties. You can join either the North Downs Way or the Downs Link from the hill.
Local parishioners walk each sunday to St Martha's Church at the top of the hill. There has been a church on this site since Saxon times. The building here today was built in the Norman period and restored by the Victorians.
Legend has it that the name Martha is a derivation of the word martyr and that the hill was a site where pagan Saxons burned Christians.
St. Martha's hill has been a site of human activity dating back to the Bronze Age, and there are five, barely discernable, circular banks with external ditches which have been declared Scheduled Ancient Monuments by English Heritage.
The sandy hillside is clothed in woodland. Part of the 60 hectare site has a rare mixture of plant species and is designated a Site of Special Scientific interest. There is also an area called the Arboretum where, in 1900, the owners of the Albury estate planted exotic cedars, spruces and other softwood trees.
On hot summer days, this hill is a place to catch a glimpse of Adder snakes which, though poisonous, are more afraid of us than we are of them and will quickly try to get away if they sense our presence.
In recent years these woods have been managed in part by the traditional method of coppicing hazel, which involves cutting the overgrown bushes down and letting them sprout again. A large area of laurel was cleared as this is not a native woodland plant and was threatening to spread into the more sensitive parts of the woods.
Please be aware that this area can be at extreme risk from fire.
Designation : SSSI
Grid reference : TQ 031 485
Habitat : Chalk Grassland