- Events at Shere Woodlands
Sun 30th Jun 13
Work Party : Juniper conservation
- Other Woodland reserves
Milford Green & Coxhill Green
Milton Heath & The Nower
Broadstreet & Backside Commons (inc. Rydes Hill Common)
Burners Heath & Swallows Pond
Fir Tree Copse
Graeme Hendrey Wood
Hill Park Estate
Vann Lake including Candy's Copse
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This area, which is designated as a SSSI, includes West Hanger, Combe Bottom and Netley Plantation.
These reserves are situated on the scarp slope of the North Downs overlooking Shere and as such the area contains many steep gradients.
Most of these areas are heavily wooded with secondary woodland and conifer plantations. However all these reserves contain small pockets of remnant chalk grassland.
The storms of 1987 had a huge impact upon these reserves and in many areas the fallen timber still lies where it fell.
The areas once formed part of the Bray Estate of Shere and were used to produce timber for the Estate and for the Gomshall Tannery. In addition, stock were grazed upon the hillside in large fields of which only small pockets now exist.
West Hanger, Combe Bottom and Netley contain some interesting archaeological features in the shape of Neolithic flint quarries.
Also of note are the relics of World War 2. The area was of great strategic importance during the early part of the War as the North Downs was used as an important line of defence in the face of a German invasion.
The many surviving 'pill boxes' in the area and their overlapping fields of fire attest to this.
During late 1943 the area was billeted with thousands of Canadian troops as the allies prepared for the Normandy landings in June 1944.
The woodlands adjacent to Francis Corner contain many concrete roads, water tanks and the brick footings of military buildings which were used by the Canadian forces.
Many of the larger manor houses off the A246, such as Hatchlands, West Horsley Place and Clandon House, were commandeered for the officers and staff.
Following the war, the area was afforested with conifer plantations.
There are excellent views from West Hanger across the Weald and Greensand Ridge towards the Devil's Punch Bowl and South Downs.
Parking at West Hanger car park, Staple Lane, East Clandon.
Ranger Notes, Autumn-Winter 2012
Designation : SSSI and LNR
Grid reference : TQ 069 489
Habitat : Woodland